NDOT Creating Pedestrian Safety Improvements Throughout the Stat - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

NDOT Creating Pedestrian Safety Improvements Throughout the State

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A single lane will be closed in both directions of north Virginia Street until 6 p.m. Friday and then again Monday, January 29th through Wednesday, January 31st.

The Nevada Department of Transportation is installing a flashing crossing beacon just north of the Bonanza Casino near Hoge Road in Reno. Meg Ragonese with NDOT hopes this safety improvement and many others will save countless pedestrian lives.

From 2016 to 2017, the number of pedestrian deaths jumped from 80 to 99 within the state. NDOT is working to help improve this epidemic, with the installation of pedestrian safety enhancements in northern Nevada. The latest is an electronic flashing beacon on a stretch of road that's proven deadly in the past.

“This is actually the culmination of a lot of pedestrian safety improvements that we've put on north Virginia Street,” said Ragonese.  “Over the past years, we installed a traffic signal right here in front of the Bonanza casino and we also installed similar pedestrian beacons on north Virginia just above the university.”

NDOT dedicates $10 million every year specifically for pedestrian safety projects. The department also works very closely with every city and county in the state to address specific needs.

Julie Duewel, community relations manager with the city of Sparks, says the installation of audible push buttons is making busy intersections safer to cross.

“Specifically for the blind, they're very important because they can hear when it's time to cross the street,” said Duewel.

The city of Sparks recently received $270,000 of federal funds administered through NDOT, specifically for the installation of these talking crosswalks.

“We'll be able to put in 20 to 30 more audible push buttons at our busiest intersections here in the city of Sparks,” says Duewel.

Pedestrian and driver safety is literally and figuratively a two way street and NDOT wants these engineering projects to serve as a reminder for everybody to share the road and watch out for each other.

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