Safer way to cross dangerous Dubuque intersection does exist - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Safer way to cross dangerous Dubuque intersection does exist

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Although there are no crosswalks for pedestrians to get across the Dodge/Locust Street intersection, a safe way to get across it does exist.

This in the wake of an accident last week that saw a woman struck and killed by a semi. 

A sidewalk snakes under the Highway 20 bridge, allowing safe passage to those crossing the intersection on the east side, traveling either north or south. There is so such sidewalk on the intersection's west side.

Dave Ness, a civil engineer for the city, said that intersection sees more than 50,000 cars a day pass through -- and there's just no way they could make it pedestrian-friendly.

"It's so far to get across that the light would have to stay red for so long for them to get across. It would cause traffic backups, which would cause more injuries to motorists as well," he said.

But the sidewalk is not well-known. There are no signs indicating that it even exists, meaning people unfamiliar with the area or the intersection, may risk an unnecessary jaunt across the busy intersection.

Doyle Jorgensen works at an auto parts store close to that intersection. He sees 10-12 people cross it every day, he said.

"It scares me," he said. "Especially after the other day."

But the sidewalk is not the popular option. It takes longer to get across, meaning that most of the time, perceived convenience wins out.

Ness said the city, along with the Iowa Department of Transportation, reviews such intersections after incidents like last week's happen. 

He said the city has thought about putting barriers up there, to try to prevent people from crossing on foot.

"But if somebody does get over, they might get trapped in the road, and then they'd have to come back," he said.

For now, the review will continue, as does the investigation into last week's incident.

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