We have a little bit of good news to report; the pedestrian crosswalk signals at the South Miami Avenue and SE 13th Avenue intersection are working again after nearly a week since they stopped working.
Nevertheless things appeared to take a turn for the worse around lunch time today at this intersection. I went home for lunch to find the electrical contractors hard at work, but also found that all the traffic lights, in addition to the pedestrian crosswalk signals not working. Although the electrical contractors had placed 2 temporary stop signs on each side of South Miami Avenue, they did not place any temporary stop signs on SE 13th Avenue. The lack of a temporary 4 way stop created a hazardous situation for motorists and lunch time pedestrians. I observed as several pedestrians attempted to cross the street, only to sprint back to safety, as they realized they would not make it unharmed to the other side of the street. Drivers simply were not stopping because there wasn’t a mandatory stop sign for cars travelling on SE 13th Ave.
In all fairness, major work is taking place at this intersection. However, the process that was undertaken to make these improvements could have been done in a manner that did not put pedestrians in harm’s way. I fully understand and appreciate that work needs to be done at this intersection, but question how we are going about it and whether we are setting up the necessary temporary provisions to ensure the public’s safety. This is not a small job. The sidewalk on the NW corner of South Miami Avenue and SE 13th Avenue has been completely torn up.
When doing major work like this, the CPWD needs to think about the impact that their work will have on the welfare of pedestrians. This is especially true in areas with heavy foot traffic and where schools are present. Going forward the CPWD needs to be more mindful as to how they schedule their projects. Starting a project and taking three days off is no way to run a big job like this. This type of work needs to be completed as quickly as possible, in order to minimize the risks to the public. Regardless of the length of any project, appropriate temporary provisions need to be made to ensure the public’s safety.
To quickly recap, work began last Thursday, that same day the pedestrian crosswalk signals stopped working. The electrical contractors were on the job site on Friday, but then proceeded to take Saturday, Sunday and Monday off. They were back on the job Tuesday. Today (Wednesday) they got the pedestrian crosswalks signals working again. Work still remains to be completed, as the sidewalk is still under construction.
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