Pedestrian-friendly light at 17th & Colorado
A new “hybrid pedestrian beacon” became operational Aug. 10 at Colorado Avenue and 17th Street.
Called a “hybrid” for short, it has a button on a pole on either side of the intersection. Pushing it activates a red light for avenue traffic so pedestrians can safely cross.
The hybrid replaces the former stoplight, which had allowed green time for both directions and had a “trip” function for 17th.
The new light remains dark except when the button is pushed. Oncoming traffic is stopped through a cycle that goes from flashing amber (yellow light) to solid amber to red and finally flashing red.
During the red time, a “countdown” in seconds displays, so pedestrians will know how long they have to cross the avenue.
For southbound 17th Street traffic, a stop sign is now installed so that after stopping motorists can go right or left. The exception is when a pedestrian is crossing with the new light. When that happens, a no-right-turn icon displays.
According to City Traffic Engineer Dave Krauth, this is only the second hybrid in Colorado Springs, although it has been used successfully in other states. He said such lights, costing about $60,000 (including installation), are less expensive than regular stoplights by close to $90,000.
Most of the cost was covered by the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority.
The decision to install a hybrid followed the change in use at what used to be Buena Vista Elementary at 17th and Bijou streets. The facility is now a community center, resulting in fewer children on foot.
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