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Oklahoma City considers pedestrian safety ahead of streetcar installation

OKLAHOMA CITY - The MAPS3 streetcar project continues to make progress downtown.

If you drive between Midtown and Bricktown, you've surely noticed construction on the tracks.

By this time next year, the trolleys should be cruising down Broadway and Robinson.

"We want to make sure people get from one side of the street to the other," said Oklahoma City Councilwoman, Meg Salyer. "That will require some enhanced striping on the streets."

Automobile Alley is an area of particular concern for Salyer.

"It's so busy," Salyer said. "We have so much retail that we didn't have 20 years ago when the streetscape was done. There's a real need for pedestrian safety."

There will be signs at every intersection to warn drivers about pedestrian traffic.

The city plans to add a stoplight at N.W. 8th Street to slow traffic between N.W. 10th and N.W. 4th.

A newly-formed pedestrian safety task force has requested a 25 mph speed limit down from 35.

"We certainly are cognizant of the issue but, until the streetcar is in and we know how it will work and function for pedestrians and vehicles, designing a new streetscape is probably premature," Salyer said.

The folks in Automobile Alley are looking to Bricktown for crosswalk solutions.

There's a mid-block crosswalk planned for Mickey Mantle Drive.

According to Downtown OKC Partnership, about 1,600 pedestrians jaywalk in the area every day.

The city will be testing out some new crosswalk solutions.

"So, we're treating it as a pilot project for the downtown area to see how successful this technology holds up," said Downtown OKC's Jill DeLozier. "If it's successful and it's affordable, then we'd love to see if it would work for other districts."

Downtown OKC has also started a social media campaign to raise awareness on Twitter.

"We've started making a real effort to think of steps that make real changes and progress with the community," DeLozier said.