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It's Your Money: Should your tax money be spent on upgrading crosswalks?

Posted at: 01/18/2013 12:46 PM
Updated at: 01/18/2013 6:03 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

More than a million and a half dollars is being spent in Monroe County to make crosswalks safer. But is it money well spent?

News10NBC received dozens of comments on Facebook after we asked that question and the majority say the money is not being spent well.

Over the next couple years, all the signals in Monroe County will be updated to countdown clocks. It's your money that pays for projects like this.    

It seems pretty easy to follow, you either walk or you don't. But the federal government says with the number of pedestrians and cars on our street, there can still be some confusion. So within two years, 570 intersections in Monroe County, will be counting down.

Ann Howell said, “Good for the pedestrians to know that if the number is low, that they shouldn't be crossing the street so for the safety view of both, I think it's a good idea.”

News10NBC's Joangel Concepcion said, “They are planning on spending $1.5 million on it though.”

Shad Thomas said, “A lot of kids come down here by themselves. So the 10, 9, 8, the countdown would be beneficial.”

The cost has some scratching their head.

William Bullis said, “You usually have plenty of time unless you're handicapped. I think the $1.5 million would be spent better having it voice activated for the hearing and sight impaired.”

Rob Nottell said, “You can name anything in the name of safety you know, seems to be good on the surface, but I think they ought to fix the roads instead.”

The department of transportation monitors all of the action on our streets and they say the new traffic signals were inevitable. News10NBC took the questions people had on the street to the director.

Concepcion said, “I think their main point was that the money could be used for something else maybe in the city that maybe it wasn't a necessary tool.

Terrence Rice, Monroe County Director of Transportation, said, “Well, eventually as I say, any new device or when you need to replace an existing indication, we're going to have to go to that, it was the law. It was a mandate if you want to look at it that way.”

Monroe County Director of Transportation Terrance Rice says the new signals will encourage walking, providing a healthier lifestyle for many. He says the safety of Monroe County citizens should be priceless.

Rice said, “State and national studies have said it's safer. There's less vehicular pedestrian conflicts. There's less accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians with these type of devices.”

The federal tax dollars will cover 80% of the $1.5 million will pay the rest. News10NBC checked and the county says they are prepared to do that. The director say this is something they had to do eventually.