New sign, lights to improve safety crossing McKee Road | Health
Area leaders said new signs installed at the Badger State Trail and McKee Road crossing in Fitchburg are meant to reduce pedestrian-car crashes.
During a news conference Thursday morning at the intersection, Fitchburg Mayor Shawn Pfaff and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi unveiled the signs -- including lights -- that they said will make crossing the four-lane McKee Road safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
Parisi's office said an incident where a cyclist crossing McKee was struck by a car and three other crashes at the roadway and trail underscored the need for new measures to protect pedestrians.
The signs allow people on foot or bike activate the lights signaling to motorists they're about to cross. The lights flash in a pattern similar to the ones used by emergency vehicles, Parisi's office said.
Funding from Dane County -- $20,000 -- and money from the city of Fitchburg were used to purchase the signs.
Parisi's office said countywide, more projects to improve bike trails are underway:
- A new off-road trail north of Lake Mendota that would run parallel to Highway M near Middleton is under development with $350,000 of county money.
- Another new 2.5-mile trail south of Verona along the Sugar River is in the works, budgeted at $300,000.
- The county will set aside twice that for the next phase of the Lower Yahara Trail to link the southeast side of Madison to McFarland and Stoughton.