Woman laments that is wasn’t installed before her grandfather died there
By Jennifer Eisenbart
Autumn Hoffman wanted one, simple question answered Tuesday night at the City Council Committee of the Whole meeting.
“If Kwik Trip is willing to pay for it, why wasn’t it put there to begin with?” Hoffman asked of the crosswalk being discussed – along with a handful of other measures – for the new Kwik Trip on South Pine Street.
Hoffman’s grandfather, Joseph Hauswirth, died Jan. 13, two days after being struck by a car while trying to cross the road from the convenience store to his home in Spring Brook Condominiums.
Shortly after her grandfather’s death, Hoffman approached city officials to try and improve safety in the area.
As a result, four different items were on Tuesday night’s agenda. The first two resolutions are to give the city the ability to exercise special assessments to reconstruct some sidewalks and also build a new one on the west side of the street from Dunford Drive to just south of Hidden Creek Lane.
The third is to consider the expense of installing a crosswalk at South Pine and Hidden Creek. The estimated cost of the crosswalk would be between $14,000 and $23,000. Kwik Trip has agreed to pay 50 percent of the project costs.
Finally, city staff wants to reduce the speed limit in that immediate area.
City staff has also initiated conversations with We Energies for increased lighting in the area.
Alderman Ruth Dawidziak spoke up on the first of the three resolutions, pointing to the number of small children in the area – and the fact that they are forced to walk on South Pine Street rather than a sidewalk.
“I think the city has an obligation,” Dawidziak said. “People are going to walk across the street for their milk. We’ve seen the worst that can happen.”
Two of the several residents at the meeting from that area agreed, and spoke up as well.
“At night, when we go for a walk, it’s dark,” said Don Hurkley. “I always thought as we were walking it was a hazardous situation, or it could be a hazardous situation.”
Rita Dietzel wanted to know if the City of Burlington police would provide extra patrols to enforce the new speed limits, which would drop it from 35 to 30 and in one zone, 25.
“I’m sorry, but they don’t do 35 now,” Dietzel said. City staff assured Dietzel that extra patrols and enforcement would be provided, and Alderman Katie Simenson also suggested putting out the speed alert trailer in the area.
But for all the changes, Hoffman didn’t get her question answered – mainly because city officials just didn’t know why a crosswalk had never been considered.
“I don’t understand why it’s not there,” Hoffman said. “It should’ve been there.”