The pedestrian crosswalk in front of the Neosho High School is now up and running.

The pedestrian crosswalk in front of the Neosho High School is now up and running.

At 9 a.m., Wednesday, MoDOT representatives, Neosho R-5 School District administration and board members, along with Neosho city leaders and members of the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce met on the high school side of the crosswalk – which spans across the Neosho Boulevard to the west side of the boulevard for a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony.

“MoDOT is very pleased to play a part in this,” said Rudy Farber, former chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. “Safety is important for the kids.”

The new stoplight will only come on when a pedestrian pushes a button to activate it. Once the button is pushed, drivers will see a flashing yellow light, and then the light will turn solid yellow. Shortly after, the solid yellow light will go off and both of the red lights will turn on.

After a few seconds, the two red lights will begin alternately flashing, and cars will be allowed to proceed after stopping, unless a pedestrian is trying to cross.

For pedestrians, the crossing will feature the standard “don’t walk” symbol of an orange hand. After pushing the button, pedestrians will then see the white figure symbol, alerting them it is safe to cross.

After a few seconds the pedestrian symbol will begin flashing orange and a countdown to zero will begin.

When the symbol is flashing, the red stoplight is also flashing.

Once the flashing begins, those crossing will have time to get across the street, and once they have crossed, traffic will be able to drive through the crosswalk.

“I am very excited, because I think it is going to add another measure of safety for the students,” said Alma Stipp, superintendent of the school district. “I really appreciate working with MoDOT, Branco and everything, they have been very sensitive of our time schedules … trying to work it out so that it happened quickly and safely with the least inconvenience.”

The project was funded by the Neosho R-5 School District, through a federal grant. Branco Enterprises performed the construction work, which was overseen by MoDOT.

“I think with the improvement, having the actual red light, it is going to get people to stop and pay attention,” said Troy Royer, city manager. “I just hope now the kids will use the walk instead of their normal behaviors of just going to the end of the fence and crossing wherever. Use the crosswalk, that is what it is here for. There is traffic coming up and down here at 30 to 35 mph and it is hard to stop quickly even at 30 mph.”

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, those in attendance had the opportunity to use the crosswalk for the first official time.

“I can tell you, I felt very safe and I was very pleased to see the cars stopped and nobody ran the stoplight, so it was a good experience,” Farber said.

Stipp said that this crosswalk would benefit others.

“I think that other people in town did to,” she said. “This is one of the few places to cross, safely. I think that it has been a really good thing for the school and the town.”