Lights to flash Wednesday

By Josh Albrecht

Starting next week, driving and crossing Annie Glidden Road will be a little different.

Temporary stoplights that were installed at the intersection of Annie Glidden and Stadium Drive are set for operation starting Wednesday.

Assistant city engineer Joel Maurer said that as long as all the electrical hook-ups are in place, Wednesday will be the day with Oct. 25 and 26 as the back-up start dates. During the first day of operation, the lights will flash red and then after the initial 24 hours, the lights will be fully operational.

Maurer added that the exact start time for turning on the lights has not been determined yet.

The lights, which have a $50,000 price tag, come after the Annie Glidden Task Force recommended them for increased pedestrian safety on Annie Glidden Road. They will give pedestrians more safety options and are the first feature that could go into effect on Annie Glidden Road during the next few years, Maurer said.

Other features discussed in the past for improving pedestrian safety include increased lighting and lighted crosswalks, barriers to funnel pedestrians to crosswalks and an alternate loop route west of the campus.

Ron Pearson, NIU coordinator of parking and traffic, said that once the lights are turned on, left-hand turns at the intersection no longer will be allowed. This could cause the only problem traffic-wise, especially because of the large commuter population that uses Annie Glidden Road.

Signs will be posted to remind drivers about the left hand turns being prohibited at the intersection.