Safety behind removal of 17th & Colorado pedestrian light

       The pedestrian stoplight at 17th Street and Colorado Avenue is “scheduled for removal,” according to a city sign placed on the block in front of the light early this month.

Since early August, this city traffic sign on West Colorado Avenue has told motorists about the city's plan to remove the pedestrian stoplight at 17th Street, with a phone number they can call.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Rob Helt of City Traffic Engineering confirmed in an interview this week that removal is planned and is likely to occur in mid-September. A stoplight had been installed at the intersection after an underground crossing was removed in the late 1980s.
       Reconsideration would occur only if the public strongly objects. The sign (with city phone number 385-5966) will be up through Sept. 3, Helt noted.
       However, to date, what the city has heard “are mainly the question why it was put up if we're going to remove it,” he said.
       He explained that the sign was installed in 2011 under a Traffic Engineering director who has since left the city.
       The full stoplight before that had become obsolete in 2009 after Buena Vista Elementary (at 17th and Bijou) was relocated and the site changed to a community center.
       The pedestrian light has a button on a pole on either side of the intersection. Pushing it activates a red light for avenue traffic so pedestrians can cross.
       Speaking in July to the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), City Transportation Manager Kathleen Krager said such lights should not be placed at intersections because people are known to get out of their cars and push the button to make the light change. “It's truly a dangerous thing,” she told OWN. “I want to remove it before we have an injury or serious fatality.”

Westside Pioneer article