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South 13th Street paint

Paint that marked the lanes on South 13th Street after it was converted from four lanes to three lanes with bike lanes has faded, but the city plans to repaint it with a more-durable product when the weather is warmer.

The city freshened up the paint along 13th Street soon after a Journal Star story pointed out the dangerous situation with faded lane markings.

And the city has bid the job of putting in permanent markings. 

But the lane markings are not the only dangerous issue on 13th Street, according to some people who live in the area.

Trying to cross the street, even with flashing warning signals, can be frustrating and frightening because cars do not stop for people waiting to cross.

The pedestrian warning signals, where pedestrians push a button and yellow lights begin flashing, at 13th and F and at 13th and D are a great idea but not very useful, according to Jeff Heerspink, pastor at the F Street Neighborhood Church.

Heerspink said he watches homeless people, moms with kids, children, people in wheelchairs and others press the button to activate the flashing yellow lights and then stand there waiting as traffic continues to cruise by, unfazed by the signals. 

Heerspink said he was prompted to write an email about the situation after watching a police officer drive through the flashing lights at 13th and D as a mother and her child sought to cross.

Driving on by is perfectly legal, according to police.

State law and local ordinance require the pedestrian to step into the street before a vehicle is required to stop at these Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons, or RRFBs, according to police.

Heerspink finds this interpretation a bit strange. "If you push the button, that means you want to cross the street," he said. 

What mom with kids in tow is going to step out into a street of moving cars?

But Heerspink is grateful to have the flashing beacons at busy neighborhood intersections. And he's also appreciative of the electronic signs put up after his initial email to the city, reminding drivers to stop for pedestrians.  

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSNancyHicks.

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Reporter

Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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