Flashing signs near Blessing Hospital designed to make drivers more aware of pedestrians

Posted: Jan. 14, 2013 11:20 pm Updated: Jan. 29, 2013 12:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Quincy officials hope flashing pedestrian crossing signs near 10th and Broadway are making drivers more aware of people crossing the street as they head to and from Blessing Hospital.

City Engineer Jeff Steinkamp told the City Council Monday that the intersection has been a problem for many years, with many people crossing outside of the crosswalk.

Blessing Hospital spent $3,200 on the two signs, which were installed last week by city crews.

"We've always been trying to work with them in someway to make that intersection safer," Steinkamp said. "Several years ago (the Illinois Department of Transportation), at our request, put up the normal pedestrian crossing signs east and west of that intersection. We also had them repaint the striping with some high visibility (paint) at 10th and Broadway."

Alderman Terri Heinecke, R-7, said she has heard from residents who believed that a mid-block crossing was installed.

"They're getting confused, because it's in the middle of the (street)," she said.

Steinkamp said the replacement signs are not intended to create a mid-block crossing. Pedestrians should cross in the crosswalk at 10th and Broadway.

"These signs were nothing more than replacing the signs that were already there and just putting the perimeter LEDs around those to make them flashing," he said.

In other business, Aldermen Steve Duesterhaus, D-2, and Dave Bauer, D-2, requested to have the Traffic Commission conduct a speed survey on Chestnut between 18th and 20th streets and study whether a streetlight and a four-way stop should be installed at 20th and Chestnut. A Quincy University student was seriously injured last week when she was hit by a car while crossing the street near 20th and Chestnut.

Duesterhaus said he was not sure whether speed played a role in the accident, but he thought all factors should be considered.

"Right now, we want to look at the contributing factors here and see what can be done," he said.

Aldermen also approved the low bid of $70,660 from Prairie State Plumbing and Heating of Athens, Ill., for the sludge pump electrical replacement project at the water filtration plant. Utilities Director David Kent said the project will replace an electrical control panel that was installed in 1973.