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Proposal for pedestrian flags at dangerous Pittsburgh intersections scaled back

Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor wants to put flags at dangerous intersection for pedestrians to use, as they do in Kirkland, Wash.

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By Nafari Vanaski
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Pittsburgh Councilman Corey O'Connor is scaling back his proposal to put pedestrian crossing flags at dangerous intersections and cutting his cost estimate by 90 percent to no more than $1,000.

Last week, O'Connor estimated the project would cost no more than $10,000 to install buckets with brightly colored flags at 10 intersections, the locations to be determined. The flags can be installed in much less time and cost less than stop signs, he argued.

“I've been defending myself all week,” O'Connor said of public reaction to his idea the Tribune-Review reported.

O'Connor isn't waving a white flag but decided to limit his proposal to a pilot program at two or three locations to gauge its effectiveness. He estimates it would cost $250 to $300 per location.

O'Connor wants to put flags on Braddock Avenue, through Regent Square. He said residents and officials meet regularly to address the high number of pedestrian accidents in that area.

The flags might make pedestrians more visible in high-traffic areas, O'Connor said. The idea is that pedestrians wave them as they cross the street. Other cities have used them with mixed success.

“It may not work, but that's why it's a pilot,” O'Connor said.

The new price could be financed using his office's discretionary money.

“I don't want to speak for council and how they'll vote, but some members liked using discretionary funds,” O'Connor said.

Council is expected to vote on the pedestrian flag plan at 10 a.m. Wednesday on the fifth floor of the City-County Building, 414 Grant St., Downtown.

Nafari Vanaski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8669, or on Twitter @NafariTrib.

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