Dexter Continues Improving Pedestrian Safety


Dan Hoey Rd at Hilltop View Apts where the new rectangular rapid flash beacon will be installed. Photo by Doug Marrin.

By Doug Marrin, Editor

Another rectangular rapid flash beacon crosswalk is on the horizon to help Dexter kids get to school. The new crossing was part of a package of proposed new sidewalks.

At its Oct 10 meeting, the City Council considered four new sidewalk segments for the western end of Dan Hoey Rd. Work on the new sidewalk would coincide with road construction scheduled for June 2023.

The four segments are as follows:

  • Segment #1 (red on the map) is approximately 500 feet of sidewalk along the south side of Dan Hoey Rd from Dongara Dr to Hilltop View Apts.
  • Segment #2 (orange on the map) is approximately 850 feet of new sidewalk along the north side of the road from Baker Rd to Dongara Dr.
  • Segment #3 (green on the map) is approximately 750 feet of sidewalk along the south side of Dan Hoey Rd from Hilltop View Apts to Bishop Cir.
  • Segment #4 (blue on the map) is a new crosswalk at Hilltop View Apts.
Map of proposed new sidewalk segments and crosswalk on Dan Hoey Rd. Image from council packet courtesy of OHM.

During public comment earlier, several people supported Segment #4, a proposed crosswalk with rectangular rapid flashing beacons, at Hilltop View.

Don Wesley, Construction Manager for Avalon Housing which owns Hilltop View Apts, advocated for the new crosswalk. Mr. Wesley pointed out that children in Hilltop View currently have two options to cross safely. They can walk east along Dan Hoey for about a half-mile, past the elementary schools, cross at the flashing beacon, and backtrack about a quarter mile. The other option is similar. Walk away from school to Walkabout Creek, cross, and backtrack to the elementary schools.

“Now, if you think about a student standing at Dan Hoey, looking at their school right across the street, they think, ‘Oh, it’s right there,’” said Wesley. “Our biggest concern is that it is so tempting to cross right there.”

Sarah Shugart of Faith in Action, who provides supportive services at Hilltop View, also urged the council to approve the crosswalk. “We are concerned for the children of the families we serve at Hilltop. I hope the council will consider putting in that crosswalk rather than expecting students to walk a half-mile down and then back in the other direction.”

Deneen Smith, Director of Transportation for Dexter Community Schools, also spoke. “I have personally witnessed a child almost get hit…I’m really concerned about their safety because that sun when you come up Dan Hoey in the fall is blinding.”

Councilmember Michels motioned to approve segments 3 and 4, the crosswalk, and the new sidewalk down to Bishop Cir. Michels reasoning was that 3 and 4 were straightforward projects. The city engineers confirmed that segments 1 and 2 were complicated with steep grades and tree removal.

During the discussion, Student Rep Bonnie Keating also supported the new crosswalk. She has traveled Dan Hoey often and understands the winter sun's dangers for eastbound drivers. “I’m worried that when people pull out of Walkabout Creek and turn right on that road that, people won’t be able to see the kids running across the road.”

The council approved segments 3 and 4. Segments 1 and 2 are to be considered at a future date. City engineers, OHM, estimate the cost for segments 3 and 4 to be approximately $217,000.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified