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Pedestrians, drivers misusing crosswalks

It’s been less than a year since the University of Missouri installed two crosswalks on College Avenue on the east side of campus. They were a combined effort between the school, the City of Columbia, and MoDOT. The total cost was more than $800,000.

But there have been complaints the pedestrians as well as drivers do not know how to properly use the crosswalks.

Our ABC 17 News crews spent an afternoon on College Avenue and saw many students not properly using the crosswalk. Students often would hit the button but not wait for the walk signal while others did not hit the button at all.

Some students we spoke with say the signal takes too long so they just wait for a clearing in traffic.

The crosswalks are also an issue for the drivers on College Avenue, some who say they aren’t sure what the signals mean.

Before opening the crosswalks, the University of Missouri sent an email to students about the light system. The University said the HAWK (High-intensity Activated crossWalk) were supposed to reduce pedestrian accidents.

According to the release by the University, the light system starts with flashing yellow lights that alert drivers to slow down. Then solid yellow lights appear followed by solid red lights. At the solid red lights, drivers should be stopped. The red lights will then start flashing and drivers are allowed to drive through those lights, after stopping, if there are no pedestrians crossing.

An instructional video for the crosswalks can be found here.

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