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Wednesday, July 7, 2004


Hailey raises flags for pedestrians

Express Staff Writer

Just in time for the Fourth of July festivities, the Hailey Public Works department installed crosswalk flags for pedestrians in the city’s ongoing effort to resolve pedestrian versus driver conflicts.

Mayor Susan McBryant and the Hailey City Council responded to citizen requests that the city find a solution to the problem after several recent near misses and one fatality occurred on Main Street during hours of heavy traffic congestion.

Bright orange crosswalk flags have been installed at the intersections of Main and Croy streets and Main and Carbonate streets.

"The flags are no assurance that crossing the road is safe. Each person must take it upon themselves to assure their safety," said Hailey Public Works Director Ray Hyde. "Look both ways before crossing to make sure traffic has stopped, assume that vehicle drivers do not see you."

Instruction signs for the use of the flags are posted at each intersection and pedestrians are encouraged to help balance the flags at the intersections. The city is looking for different service organizations to "adopt" an intersection and to help keep the number of flags on each side of the street balanced, Hyde said.

Hailey has modeled the flag program for pedestrians after those used on Main Street in Ketchum, which is largely viewed as a success, a tool for calming traffic through the center of town. Salt Lake City also instituted a pedestrian flag program this spring after a city official had seen the effectiveness of their use in Ketchum.

"We are continuing to research other methods to keep our citizenry safe," Hyde said. "We are looking into a new lighting system that will light up the walkway when activated by the push of a crosswalk button."


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