City of Gunnison has made sign improvements to the 11th Street school zone. Improvements involved new 20 MPH school speed limit signs with flashing lights and a pedestrian activated rapid flashing crossing light at 11th Street and Arthur Avenue. The improvements were made as part of an expanded plan to increase safety on the street by improving the warning to drivers that the speed limit is 20 MPH during school hours and to yield to pedestrians.
We have not seen any accidents involving pedestrians in the school zone but the police department does receive complaints of speeding during school hours. The department has also received inquiries about establishing crossing guards at 11th Street and Arthur Avenue. The school and police department over the years have assigned personnel and requested volunteers to act as crossing guards at the intersection but a sustained program has never occurred. The hope is by getting the children and parents using the crosswalk, to activate the lights, we will have a sustained warning system. The duty for cars to yield when the crosswalk is occupied has not changed.
Adding flashing lights in the school zone will serve as a reminder and attention getter for drivers to reduce speed and watch for pedestrians.
Parents are encouraged to talk with their children about safe ways to cross all streets:
1. Use marked crosswalks
2. Use warning devices when present; like flashing lights and signal lights
3. Stop before entering the roadway and look both ways
4. Make sure vehicles have stopped before crossing the street