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Flashing LED lights added to Baraboo school crossings

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BARABOO, Wis. - A convergence of a high volume of traffic and pedestrians is creating safety concerns in the city of Baraboo, so officials are installing two flashing LED lights on 8th Avenue at school crossings.

“This is one of those streets where we have a high volume of traffic, and that coupled with a high volume of pedestrian traffic makes us look at technology anytime we can,” Capt. Rob Sinden, with the Baraboo Police Department, said.

The flashing LED lights were recently installed at the corner of 8th Avenue and Wood Street. The crossing is for one school to the south and two to the north of that intersection.

“I’ve worked with crossing guards for many, many years and we have so many close calls it is incredible,” Sinden said.

Officials hope the addition of the flashing LED lights combined with the school crossing guards will improve safety for children walking to and from school.

A second set of flashing LED lights will be installed at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Jefferson Street. Those lights should be installed before the start of the school year.

The new flashing LED lights are solar powered, which helped to reduce the cost of each unit. The price tag for the flashing LED lights is approximately $8,000 per intersection.

“From the standpoint of simple safety, what is the cost of an individual being struck by a car?” Sinden said.

With the installation of the crossing lights, Baraboo police officers will be keeping a close eye on enforcement of those intersections.

“Especially this time of year with school beginning we’re all looking at these crosswalks and enforcing them at a higher level than we ever would,” Sinden said.