New crosswalks near Autzen on MLK Blvd. for safe 'PED XING'

New crosswalks near Autzen on MLK Blvd. for safe 'PED XING' »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. - Fast cars and no crosswalks can be a dangerous combination for pedestrians on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Eugene.

"It's crazy. You got people walking out in the middle of traffic and cars not wanting to slow down, it's crazy," said pedestrian Jeff Gilbertson.

On August 31, an elderly couple was hit by a car and sent to the hospital after attempting to cross the street during a baseball game at PK Park. Eugene Public Works officials hope that some new crosswalks will help prevent accidents like this from happening.

"This is designed as a safe crossing," said Public Works spokesman Eric Jones.

The two crosswalks, located at bus stops near Autzen Stadium, are part of a larger re-paving project currently taking place on MLK.

"We do have the concrete refuge and there will be a pedestrian activated rapid flashing signal," said Jones.

Jones said the project was in the works long before the couple was hit at the end of August. He said they hope to make it more convenient for pedestrians to access both sides of the street.

"That was the intent all along, to help folks get from the bus stops across Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard and to the service agencies."

For folks who work in the area like Gilbertson, the crosswalks mean a safer walk to work.

"I think it's a great, great idea," said Gilbertson. "I just hope people pay attention to them."

The crosswalks will be fully operational by October. Right now public works said they have no plans to put any additional crosswalks on this portion of MLK.