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'Refuge islands' to help pedestrians cross Park Circle to City Park

June 26, 2012

Construction is slated to begin in August on a pair of traffic islands at Park Circle that will make it safer for Hagerstown residents crossing the street to get to City Park, according to a city official.

The curbed “refuge” islands, complete with new pedestrian crosswalks, handicap ramps and stop signs, will be located where South Walnut Street and Virginia Avenue enter the traffic circle, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said Tuesday.

The Hagerstown City Council last week approved a contract not to exceed $36,000 with Concrete Central LLC of Hagerstown to complete the work later this year.

Crossing both lanes to get to the park can be dangerous at times, and the islands offer a space for pedestrians to stand while waiting for traffic to clear, Tissue said.

“If you need to have refuge on the island, you can do that,” he said.

The project was in response to a pair of Neighborhood 1st groups that requested a safer way to walk to the park, Tissue said.

“We want to support the neighborhood groups, so when two of them came to us we tried to find a way to get this done,” he said.

— C.J. Lovelace

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