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Kalamazoo plans to keep in-street crosswalk signs installed during the winter

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Snow plow operators have received additional training in plowing around the new signs. (WWMT/Will Haenni)

You might have spotted new in-street crosswalk signs and posts at several busy intersections while driving through Kalamazoo in fall 2019.

More than 60 signs were installed at 20 intersections across the city in late October after the city enacted a crosswalk ordinance on June 1, 2019. The ordinance made it mandatory for vehicles to stop for pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross at marked and unmarked crosswalk areas.

Kalamazoo City Deputy City Manager Jeff Chamberlain said the poles and signs were installed in order to increase awareness about the new ordinance and alert drivers that pedestrians may be in the area.

"They are flexible, so if they are hit they will bend over," Chamberlain said, "As they get damaged, primarily by cars, they will be replaced."

Road crews will monitor the signs and posts throughout the winter, then replace any broken or damaged signs or posts come springtime.

Chamberlain said snow plow operators have also received additional training on how to plow around the new signs. He said signs and posts were also installed far enough apart for plows to fit between them.

Several people voiced their concerns about the new signs and posts on social media. Several commented on the post below calling them a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Funding for the new signs came from the general services budget of the Kalamazoo Public Service Department for maintaining signs and crosswalks throughout the city.

In a statement from the city, locations for the in-road signs were chosen based on criteria such as traffic speed and volume, street width, and observed pedestrian usage. Locations were finalized by the city in July, but due to a delay in delivery, the signs weren't installed until late October.

Most of the crosswalks feature four in-street signs with additional posts, but some wider intersections received more according to information provided by the city.

A map including the 20 locations with in-street was created by the City of Kalamazoo.

Tell us if you've been impeded by the new crosswalks by answering our online poll.

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