New pedestrian-activated lights are being installed at the 7 crosswalks on Okaloosa Island.
- The work is expected to be complete by the end of the week.
- Motorists are required to stop and allow pedestrians to cross at these locations, even if the lights are not on.
These new solar-powered signs were approved back in August and are funded with infrastructure surtax dollars ($200,000). Read more on this tax.
Previously, crosswalk improvements did take place before the 2020 tourist season. However, the 2021 tourist season traffic “underscored the need to enhance safety at the beach park access crossings,” according to Jason Autrey, Public Works Director for the county.
“We’ve had a substantial number of complaints from citizens because the pedestrians are trying to use the crosswalks and they say that drivers just don’t pay attention to them,” said Autrey on Tuesday morning. “The hope is that this will improve driver awareness to when somebody is entering into the crosswalk, which in the State of Florida, by law, you are to stop when the pedestrian enters into the crosswalk.”
The solar-powered pedestrian-activated crosswalk systems are said to heighten driver awareness by providing a real-time warning when pedestrians are in or about to enter a crosswalk.