Newport has just been awarded a $450,000 grant by ODOT to help pedestrians in Newport more safely cross a perpetually busy Highway 101. Newport Community Development Director Derrick Tokos says the grant, plus some additional funds from the city, will target eight crossings of 101 from North 15th clear down to Bailey. Some of those crossings will have landscaped pedestrian refuge islands so that during the busy summer months, when breaks in traffic are few and far between, pedestrians can break up their journey across all five lanes.
But there will be other improvements as well, says Tokos, including pedestrian activated buttons at Avery and 101 between the Salvation Army and City Hall. When the buttons are pushed, overhead pedestrian warning lights will flash which will come in very handy during the months that the Newport Farmers Market is held on Saturdays.
Other pedestrian crosswalk improvements will be made in the City Center area in the form of pedestrian curb extenders which will shorten the pavement distance between both sides of the street.
Tokos says he expects the projects to take a while to complete, depending on labor from city public works, but that he hopes it will all be complete within the next 18 months.