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Audible signals provide countdown for pedestrians

May 09, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

With the help of audible crosswalk technology, pedestrians crossing Public Square in Hagerstown are now being told how much time they have to safely cross the street, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration said Monday.

The State Highway Administration had the "Countdown" signals installed in mid-April on Public Square in response to requests from citizens and support from Hagerstown City Council, Chuck Gischlar said.

The State Highway Administration has been installing the audible crosswalk signals at intersections throughout the state because they are safer than the visible "walking man" signals, which sometimes leave pedestrians confused and caught in an intersection, Gischlar said.

The new signals announce how much time a pedestrian has to walk across the street, he said.

"Now you know exactly how much time you have," he said.

According to a written release, more than 22,500 vehicles travel through Public Square daily.

Rommel Engineering of Odenton, Md. installed the signals, Gischlar said. The project cost $22,000.

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The state will consider adding the signals at other crosswalks throughout Hagerstown, Gischlar said.

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