Grand Island schools update crosswalks

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Updated: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 07:15:37 CST

Grand Island Public Schools is teaming up with the city and police department to make getting to and from school a little bit safer.

A project at Walnut Middle School will improve safety for pedestrians and efficiency for drivers.

The massive construction project is 6 years in the making, but it's only been under construction since late August.

"With all the schools in the area besides Walnut Middle School, it gets very congested and very unsafe." Said Dan Petsch, Director of Buildings and Grounds for Grand Island Public Schools. 

Grand Island received federal funding through the Safe Routes for Schools Grant in 2007.
But, it's been no easy task getting the project underway.
Between what the city is calling red tape issues and moving an entire playground, the Walk to Walnut project is just months away from completion.

"It was just very poor movement of traffic on Custer Avenue because that driveway did not line up with another street it was a three way intersection close to another three way intersection." Said Scott Griephenstroh, Project Manager for the City of Grand Island.

"What makes it safer is it's moved down to the intersection so it's a 4 way stop." Said Petsch.

Right now the area is more of a hazard as drivers roll through stop signs.
Come November cars will have to come to a complete stop at a light.

"we'll control the traffic a lot better." Said Petsch.

Over at Gates Elementary the city and school district are actually removing 4 crosswalks.
Why? To direct students to a single supervised intersection.

"We're working with parents to make sure we can accomplish that." Said Petsch.

One thing both the city and the school district want to remind the public is to be vigilant when driving through crosswalks, especially around schools.
Make sure you look both ways before driving, and of course, be sure to come to a complete stop at stop signs.