Town officials are taking steps designed to make crosswalks more prominent and safe on Indiantown Road, home to as many as eight of Jupiter’s top 10 most dangerous intersections in recent years for collisions involving vehicles, pedestrians and bicylists.
Council members gave a go-ahead Tuesday evening to proceed with a memorandum of understanding with the state Department of Transportation for planned crosswalk improvements on the route.
In January, for example, Jesus Hernandez Cota, 38, was killed near the intersection of Indiantown Road and Central Boulevard when he was struck by an eastbound vehicle.
There were 450 collisions along Indiantown Road in 2014, averaging more than one a day and representing by far the most on any road in the town, The Palm Beach Post reported.
“This corridor is an important right-of-way for vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles, but has a high rate of bicycle, pedestrian and vehicular accidents,” an executive summary provided for Tuesday’s meeting said.
The project calls for the design and installation of decorative crosswalks on Indiantown Road at intersections with signals from Island Way to U.S. 1.
The goal: “Enhancing these intersections may improve safety by calling motorists’ attention to the crosswalks,” according to a memo from Thomas Driscoll, the town’s director of engineering, parks and public works.
The project is designed to fit into a strategic plan for a “pedestrian-friendly community with (an) effective system of sidewalks and bike paths.”
The state transportation agency has agreed to provide more than $900,000 in initial funding for construction, but under the agreement, the town must pay for maintenance, cleaning and periodic testing of the patterned, textured pavement expected to total more than $100,000 over several years, records show.
Town staff recommended approval “with caution to the town council in terms of the ongoing maintenance responsibilities and required budget.”
Council members approved it as part of a consent agenda with minimal public discussion Tuesday, but the real test of effectiveness comes once it’s fully in place. People who have worked along the route, such as restaurant manager Danny Mannino, have observed for years that heavy traffic on the road “goes all day and night.”