Last week we reported that the city of Dallas will install 45 new streetlights in Oak Lawn over the next 60 days, in response to Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats’ Light Up Oak Lawn safety campaign. But speaking of lights, what about the crosswalk on Cedar Springs Road at Reagan Street, which has again stopped working? Well, a city official told Instant Tea today that it will likely be October before the city can repair the broken lights in the crosswalk.
Alex Wong, the city’s program manager for traffic field operations, said in response to complaints over the last few weeks, a city inspector went out to check on the crosswalk this weekend. What he found is that more than half of the ground-level, flashing lights have stopped working. This marks at least the fifth time the city has had to repair the crosswalk since it was first installed in 2004. It’s the only crosswalk of its kind in Dallas, and it’s proven to be a poor design, Wong said.
Each time it costs the city roughly $5,000 to replace the lights, which are malfunctioning in part due to the uneven street surface. But it would cost $30,000 or $4o,o00 to replace the whole system, and that’s money the city doesn’t have.
“It’s really a Catch-22,” Wong said. “We really do not like the system, but what can I do? There’s no funding available for us to go with another approach.”
For now, the city will continue to repair the crosswalk, but first officials must identify a vendor for the parts and clear a backlog of other projects, Wong said.
In February 2009, the lights in the crosswalk had been out for more than six months when the city finally replaced them. Weeks later, after a construction crew mistakenly cut the wires to the lights, the city announced that it would no longer repair them. The announcement outraged local business owners, and the city finally agreed to repair the crosswalk. Those repairs were completed just 18 months ago — in December 2009.