LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Changes are in the works for an intersection in Lewiston where a 13-year old boy was struck by a car and killed on his way to school.
The area where Jayden Cho-Sargent was killed has been identified as one of several dangerous intersections in the City of Lewiston. Tuesday night members of the city council will be presented with a just completed report that highlights those intersections and makes recommendations about how they can be made safer.
A memorial made of stuffed animals remains at the intersection of Frye and Main Streets in Lewiston where Cho-Sargent lost his life in November.
“That’s a clear example of where we can do a lot better in terms of providing for pedestrian safety”, said State Senator Nate Libby, (D) Androscoggin.
The death of the 13-year old was the third pedestrian fatality within a year span in Lewiston. It prompted a call to action by city leaders.
“It was a situation that probably could have been avoided. So for me, it was definitely a wake-up call and thinking we need to bring people together to talk about this issue”, Libby said.
Libby worked with Lewiston city officials and residents to identified dangerous intersections. The result is a 28-page report which lists more than two dozen areas of concerns. Improvements to those areas can range from simple quick fixes such as a new coat of reflective paint to more long term make overs.
“The flashing beacons to piano keyed crosswalks to pedestrian refuge islands. It really depends on the area and what we are able to get for funding", said Lewiston City Councilor Kristen Cloutier.
One fix already in the works is at Frye and Main. The sidewalk will be bumped out, making for a shorter distance pedestrians must travel to cross the street. A flashing beacon will also be installed.
“It’s just another way of getting the motorists attention to let them know that a pedestrian is crossing”, said State Traffic Engineer Stephen Landry.
Landry says not all pedestrian fatalities can be prevented, but this one area in Lewiston can and will be made safer. It’s now a state DOT priority.
“The ones that are correctable, we try to find solutions so that they don’t happen again in those locations”, he said.
Pedestrian Safety is not just about physical changes to intersections. It’s also about education. Pedestrians and motorists must know the rules of the road and be more aware of their surroundings. The driver in the crash that killed Jayden Cho-Sargent is facing civil charges that could result in fines and loss of her license.
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