The new school year is ushering in some changes for both pedestrians and drivers on Northdale Boulevard near Coon Rapids High School.
The main crosswalk has been moved further to the east to better align with the school entrance as well as the athletic stadium across the street. With the push of a button, pedestrians activate new signs with flashing lights to alert drivers they are crossing the road.
"Pedestrians will still need to watch traffic and cross at a safe time when the vehicles come to a stop," said City Engineer Mark Hansen.
With safety top of mind, the new crosswalk is also shorter than the previous crosswalk.
"The curb bumpouts reduce the width of the crossing across Northdale Boulevard so that should reduce the amount of time that pedestrians are actually on the road," Hansen said.
There are also now dynamic speed display signs in both directions on Northdale Boulevard. A reduced speed will be in effect in the school zone during starting and dismissal times. A "Safe Routes to School" grant from the state made the project possible.
"We are hoping to draw the motorists attention better to the fact pedestrians are actually crossing and just making it a safer place for both pedestrians and vehicles," Hansen said.