The students at Missoula's Paxson School along with their parents are competing with two other communities in a national contest to win a traffic control device for the intersection at Hill Street and Beckwith Avenue.

Missoula's Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator Ben Weiss said on Friday, December 6, that Paxson School parents had been meeting with city officials over safety issues related to the Hill and Beckwith intersection.

"We've had several meetings with parents and City Engineer Kevin Slovarp and we came up with some short-term solutions," Weiss said. "We enhanced that crosswalk early this fall with a zebra-stripe pattern making it more bold and visible to drivers so they know that children will be crossing there."

Now, city and school officials will be competing for a traffic safety device in a national online contest.

"A traffic control company, Carmanah Traffic, is offering a contest for a what is called a rectangular rapid flashing beacon," Weiss said. "It's a user-activated system where you push a button and it turns on and it has these amber lights that flash rapidly to alert divers that pedestrians are in the crosswalk. They want to give this system away to a school somewhere in the country through a Facebook contest."

All people in Missoula have to do is go onto the company's website page and hit the 'like' button.

"There are two other communities competing for the signal, one is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and one is Sacramento, California," Weiss said. "the website is http//"

A representative of Carmanah Traffic said the cost of the traffic control signal is approximately $6,000.

Weiss said the school that receives the most votes on Facebook will win the signal for their crosswalk.

Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator Ben Weiss



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