Norfolk, Va. - A new city task force will study a highway where pedestrians would rather cross in the middle than in the crosswalk.
The pedestrian crosswalk cutting through Military Highway at Poplar Hall Drive bisects 12 lanes of traffic. There are no crossing signals to tell walkers when to start and when to stay put. And at the intersection, it's challenging to predict which lanes will move next.
A hundred yards north, there are two fewer lanes and longer breaks in the traffic. That's where most people are crossing Military Highway. The highway also separates hotels and houses on the west from businesses and a mall on the east.
In two hours Tuesday, NewsChannel 3 spotted just three people using the crosswalk, but dozens plodding across the highway north of the intersection.
"You just have to be careful," said Jamell Harris.
Norfolk spokeswoman Lori Crouch said the city's vice mayor, Angelia Graves, brought up concerns about the intersection and the challenge it presents to walkers. Crouch said the vice mayor's worry was forwarded to a new group called the "Complete Streets Safety Task Force." That task force includes members of several city departments like planning, public works and public safety. The group's job will be trying to make streets safer for drivers, bicyclists and walkers.