EUGENE, Ore. -- The life of a young boy cut down by a reckless motorist, a mother's grief, a community's drive for safety and a $1.3 million redesign for safety later -- kids still aren't correctly using the award-winning pedestrian crossing at Bailey Hill Road and 18th in the Churchill neighborhood.
The area was redesigned for safety after 10-year-old Vaclav Hajek (right) was struck and killed in August 2007 while crossing the road.
Now the busy stretch of road features a high-tech crossing signal and pedestrian refuge. Only neighbors are concerned the crosswalk isn't being used to its maximum advantage to keep kids safe.
"They're definitely not activating it," said Thomas Price, co-chair of the Churchill Area Neighbors. "Only one of the many people that we've seen cross even use it appropriately."
The crosswalk is laid out in a zig zag pattern, and you should have to press two buttons to make it work.
"It looks like the greater percentage of kids don't even understand the crosswalk," Price said.
Those who do use the crosswalk often skip pressing the buttons to activate the signal to oncoming traffic.
"I notice that the cars stop without the button having to be pressed," said Cody Hall, a Churchill student.
Not so safe, according to Price.
"I told him it might be taking his life in his own hands if you don't use that extra signal to warn them," Price said.
Tuesday, KVAL News observed most students not pressing any buttons at the crossing -- or even skipping the crosswalk to cross in the middle of the road.
Price said the Churchill Area Neighbors have applied for a grant to put up an informational kiosk to better explain the crossing and how to use it.