State College, Pa- A construction projection aimed to provide more pedestrian safety at a busy intersection starts Monday in State College.
Traffic is often busy at the intersection of Park Avenue and McKee Street. Many enter and exit Penn State University on Park Ave. and it’s a popular spot for many students and community members to cross the street…. so it’s key to be on high alert for cars.
Two years ago a local man was killed at the intersection, but now a new project hopes to keep that from happening again.
“It seems very dangerous and something urgently needs to be done to prevent these tragedies from happening. We didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye, very shocking, very tragic,” Marissa Blunschi said.
Marissa is the daughter of 66-year old Joseph Blunschi who was killed after being struck by a car while crossing Park Avenue at the McKee Street intersection in 2016.
Now this upcoming Monday, State College Borough will oversee construction of a pedestrian island which they hope will give pedestrians a better chance to see traffic coming from both lanes.
“We’re offering a place where pedestrians or bicyclists to not just spring across whenever the traffic is coming through there, but offer them a physical place to just stop, wait…make sure that both ends are clear,” said Douglas Shontz, communications specialist for State College Borough.
But the island itself won’t prevent accidents from happening. Officials said it’s still important to look both ways, and never trust that a driver will stop.
Construction on the pedestrian island will restrict traffic to one land on Park Avenue. Starting on Monday, a flagger will be present at all times to direct traffic and stop traffic for those looking to cross the street.
The borough plans to have the project completed by October of this year.