Wilmington has plans to increase the visibility of pedestrian refuge islands on the Cross-City Trail by dying them and scoring them in a brick pattern, said Joshuah Mello, the city’s associate transportation planner.
Mello also said the contractor in charge, Cape Fear Paving, is tasked with adding pavement tapers to guide drivers around the refuge facilities.
Additionally, signs will be posted on approach to notify drivers of the obstruction, he said.
Two portions are currently under construction, and Mello said completion of those is slated for November. The final portion, from South College Road at Randall Parkway to Rill Road, is due for finishing touches in April.
Refuge islands are basically elevated concrete slabs that give walkers and bicyclists a temporary haven from passing motorists.
But for residents like Donna Young, the islands can pose a safety hazard during construction.
Young, 43, a mother in the Pine Valley neighborhood, said she was driving along George Anderson on July 22 in approach to 17th Street when her vehicle suddenly struck the refuge island. Her tire blew.
“The concrete is almost the same color as the road itself,” she said.
Young was aware of the construction because the island had previously been marked by orange construction barrels. But the barrels were absent that day.
Young said Friday the construction barrels had been replaced, and she agreed that markings slated under design specifications would sufficiently alert vehicles.
Numerous messages placed with Cape Fear Paving went unreturned.
Date posted: August 23, 2010
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