GULFPORT — Stetson law school students may soon find crossing Gulfport Boulevard less harrowing, and bicyclists can anticipate easier access to the Pinellas Trail.
Plans are under way for two pedestrian-activated crosswalks on the boulevard, at Stetson and at Beach Boulevard at Clymer Park. Two additional striped connector walkways are planned for 55th Street, at 11th Avenue S and 15th Avenue S.
"The pedestrian-activated crosswalks will make it easier and safer for residents and students to cross 22nd Avenue," said Mayor Sam Henderson.
At a cost of less than $25,000, according to City Manager Jim O'Reilly, the city will pay for the equipment necessary for the two user-assisted crosswalks on Gulfport Boulevard. The city is waiting to purchase the machinery for the Stetson crosswalk pending final engineering designs from Pinellas County's Traffic Engineering Section.
"Once we receive approval, we will order the equipment," O'Reilly said.
Pinellas County will be responsible for installing and maintaining the user-activated crosswalks and for surveying and striping all four walkways.
User-activated crosswalks allow pedestrians to activate a flashing light that signals motorists to stop. The Stetson crosswalk is likely to include a median and a staggered design to provide east- and westbound drivers greater pedestrian visibility.
The crosswalk at Beach Boulevard will connect Clymer Park to the Pinellas Trail and provide access to downtown Gulfport. Plans in the proposed 2013-14 city budget address expanding the bicycle path to the Municipal Marina, Clam Bayou and the Skyway Trail.
No date has been set for surveying and striping the four crosswalks.
"Right now, we're just waiting on the county," Henderson said.
Diane Craig can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.