Motion-sensing posts, flashing lights being added to increase pedestrian safety at crosswalks
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A project designed to improve safety on one of the University of Iowa campus’ most heavily used pedestrian walkways will begin this month.

Steam-vault modifications

A separate project to modify steam-vault piping will also take place simultaneously in the Cleary Walkway.

Work will occur near Kautz Plaza, located between Calvin Hall and Trowbridge Hall.

In addition, the east-west walkway between Gilmore Hall and the Pappajohn Business Building will be closed through Oct. 11 for the same project, with an expected completion date of Friday, Oct. 18.

Motion sensing posts and flashing lights will be installed on each side of Jefferson Street and Market Street at the top of the hill where the respective streets intersect with the T. Anne Cleary Walkway, says Adele Vanarsdale, University of Iowa campus planner.

While the existing pedestrian-crossing warning signs will be left in place, the new system will add flashing lights. When a pedestrian crosses a motion-sensing beam, yellow lights will activate to warn approaching vehicles that a pedestrian is about to cross or is crossing, Vanarsdale says.

“The Cleary Walkway is a major pedestrian route, and the university continually seeks ways to ensure a safer campus for students and the university community as a whole,” says Vanarsdale. “This is just to amplify that warning in order to add another level of awareness for vehicles.”

The walkway, a north-south route that connects eastside residence halls with the Pentacrest, will remain open during the project. However, notices of alternate and accessible routes will be posted in the walkway and issued on the Access and Construction Alert system. The project is expected to be complete by the start of spring 2020 semester.

The Campus Development Team has ongoing conversations about pedestrian safety and traffic control at the Cleary Walkway intersections, and the team approved the safety enhancements April 2019, Vanarsdale says.