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City Aims for Safer Carytown

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There's nothing luxurious about getting hit by a car.

And that, in short, is the impetus behind a planned $650,000 upgrade to the streetscape in Carytown: The city wants to prevent vehicles from colliding with pedestrians in what the Department of Public Works describes as "one of the city's premier shopping venues."

For the record, no one's saying Carytown is a pedestrian deathtrap — just that it could be safer. The project calls for brick crosswalks and painted stop lines on the street. The amenities aim to "provide visual [cues] to drivers that a crossing is approaching," says Sharon North, a spokeswoman for the department.

The crosswalks will be matched with curb "bump outs," which essentially extend the sidewalk at crossings into the existing parking area on either side of the street up to the travel lane. The effect, North says, "is to reduce pedestrian travel time to cross and make pedestrians more visible to drivers." The work will include wheelchair ramps.

The city put the project out to public bid last week. North says construction is projected to begin in July and work is expected to take six months.

The federal government is paying for 90 percent of the project's costs, with the remainder coming from the state.

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