Missouri agencies work to make crosswalks safer for Springfield pedestrians

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — While agencies continue to patrol Springfield crosswalks for safety reasons there are pedestrians who say some crossings need more attention.

Christina Flowers uses the crosswalk on North Glenstone five to six times a day.

“Anyone of us pedestrians would hit that button and it flashes yellow,” Flowers said. “Sometimes cars stop, by the way, thank you to those who do. But then a whole lane would stop and another lane would just keep shooting through.”

She says the flashing yellow lights on the crossing are causing the problem.

“People just keep running the yellows because that’s what they’re used to doing at the regular traffic light to beat the red,” Flowers said. “It’s in the driver’s manual: Yield the right of way to pedestrians. Still, people don’t do it.”

The Missouri Department of Transportation manages this particular crosswalk.

“This message goes out to all pedestrians, to always be aware. The drivers can be distracted. They might not be paying attention. Always keep that in the back of your mind and always use extra caution,” Kristi Bachman the Transportation Project Manager at MoDOT said.

Bachman says MoDOT is working with the City of Springfield on a $12.4 million project involving the Glenstone corridor, part of the project includes adding pedestrian push buttons and signals.

Pavement markings and signs will also be enhanced.

“You’ll see a pretty big significant improvement in the visibility and the safety of pedestrian crossings along Glenstone,” Bachman said.

Construction will begin in 2022, in the meantime, SGF Yields is two months into its crosswalk yield check program around the city.

In this program, police officers aren’t in uniform and instead act as pedestrians.

If a driver doesn’t yield as an officer tries to cross the street, they’ll get pulled over and receive an educational flyer.

Mandy Büttgen-Quinn, Traffic Safety Professional, City of Springfield: “At some locations, we have as little as nine percent, or seven percent compliance, and at other areas, we have as much as 59% compliance,” Mandy Buttgen-Quinn is the Traffic Safety Professional for the City of Springfield.

Buttgen-Quinn says Springfield has an average compliance rate of 47%, which was 25% in March.

“So we are going in the right direction but we still have ways to go,” Buttgen-Quinn said.

Starting in June, officers involved in the program will give out citations, $100 is the minimum fine.

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