Attention drivers: Soon there will be a stoplight installed at North Euclid Avenue and Fifth Street in front of the Coronado Residence Hall to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the street more safely.
University of Arizona Police Department Sgt. Filbert Barrera said he thinks the signal is being installed because it is a high-volume crosswalk.
“It will be helpful for the lights to turn red to notify cars that folks are walking through,” said John Parker, a pre-business freshman. “It’s hard to see people walking across the street—especially at night—so the lights will definitely help. And sometimes cars can see you, but they don’t stop to let people cross anyway.”
Ann Chanecka, the bicycle and pedestrian program coordinator for the city of Tucson, said the new bicycle-pedestrian crosswalk is a signal to help bicycles and pedestrians cross North Euclid Avenue and is part of the Fifth Street Bicycle Boulevard Project.
“This is the first phase with the improvements that the [UA] has done to the east side of that area,” Chanecka said.
“This project is to make it easier to access campus and to walk or bicycle in that area, and the signal improves safety and makes it easier to get across.”
The city of Tucson has a few of the same types of signals, according to Chanecka. One is located at the intersection of East University Boulevard and North Stone Avenue, and one at the intersection of East Third Street and North Country Club Road.
“Cars will be getting a red light when bicycles and pedestrians have the green light, or in the pedestrian case, the walking signal to go,” Chanecka said. “Cars actually have to come to a complete stop at the red light so bicycles and pedestrians can go.”
Chanecka said the reasoning behind this improvement is that Fifth Street can serve as an alternate route for pedestrians and bicyclists trying to get to campus.
“The idea is that it’s kind of a new bicycle and pedestrian gateway to campus from the west side, and [the UA] invested a lot in the block just east of the signal to help movement in that area,” Chanecka said.
Chanecka said the city of Tucson is hosting an event Sept. 15 at the location of the new signal.
“We’re hoping it’s going to be fully complete by then, but actually it’s part of a Light the Night campaign we have where we hand out free bicycle lights, and there are lights that pedestrians can also use on backpacks to help improve safety,” Chanecka said. “It’s the law that bicycles have to have a front light on their bike at night.”
Chanecka said the event will start at 6 p.m. and Wilbur will be there to help hand out free lights until supplies run out.
“We are excited to have Wilbur the Wildcat to help improve bicycle and pedestrian safety,” Chanecka said.
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