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Oct 28, 2013 8:57 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

City of Tucson ranks top three intersections in need of crosswalks

TUCSON- Three days a week, amid the speeding cars on Broadway Blvd. you will find Ray Cuevas pushing himself in a wheelchair.

"I've lost 101 pounds since I started this and I feel a lot better," Cuevas says.

While his workout routine seems to be going great, Cuevas says his ride can sometimes get a little dicey. "Between Harrison and Camino Seco there just aren't any crosswalks," Cuevas said. "There is nowhere safe for me to cross the street."

He's not the only one taking notice.

Right now Broadway Blvd. and Gollob Rd. ranks as the number 1 intersection where the city hopes to install a HAWK crosswalk. It's the type of crosswalk where pedestrians push a button, then a red light signals for drivers to stop. "I think it would be a great area to have one," Cuevas said.

Each crosswalk costs about $125,000 and the city can only afford to install two or three a year. So about a year and a half ago the city ranked about 80 intersections in order of importance, where HAWK crosswalks have been requested either by the public or the city.

The rankings are based on data collected between 2009 and 2011. It includes the speed of cars, the number of crashes at an intersection, as well proximity to schools. Broadway and Gollob is near two elementary schools. "I think it would be a great idea, it's crazy over there," Parent Reina Gibson said. "It's a major intersection and there are lanes of traffic and a lot of little kids walking to get to school."

Other intersections ranked in the top three include La Cholla and San Juan, which is right near Cholla High School, as well as Old Spanish Trail and Blacksburg Avenue, which is right near an elementary school and a church.

City leaders say the red lights will catch drivers' attention, but as a longtime pedestrian, Cuevas has learned he also has to depend on himself to keep safe. "I think a lot of drivers have to watch out for pedestrians and a lot of pedestrians have to watch out for drivers before they walk out in the crosswalks and make any attempt to cross the streets," Cuevas said.

Andy McGovern of the Tucson Department of Transportation says the list of ranked intersections will most likely change in January. That is when the city expects to receive data from 2011-2013.

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