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Date of Issue: January 23, 2008

Lighted crosswalk goes dim in Bradenton Beach

If it’s broke, don’t fix it appears to be the strategy for a pilot lighted crosswalk in Bradenton Beach.

City officials in 2001 were able to entice the Florida Department of Transportation to try a novel approach to pedestrian crossings on a state highway. The location was at Ninth Street North on Gulf Drive, adjacent to the Gulf Drive Cafe. DOT officials allowed a pilot project which included lighted beacons to be installed in the pavement of the roadway, triggered by pedestrians, which would alert motorists of a crossing.

Despite the fact that some walkers ignored the trigger and darted into traffic, the lighted system seemed to work for a while. Until it broke recently, and then was disassembled.

There is a yellow flashing light which signals to motorists that there is a pedestrian crosswalk, but the beacons in the pavement are gone.

“It was a test,” said Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale. “The control panel went out for the beacons. The crosswalk signs are still on a constant yellow flash, though.”

“It was a test site for a lighted crosswalk,” said DOT spokesperson Cindy Clemmons-Adente. “We ran the test to see how the equipment would hold up, but it deteriorated.”