Pedestrians will soon have a safe path to cross Reynolda Road near the entrances to Reynolda House Museum of American Art and Graylyn Estate. Construction on the Reynolda Road Crosswalk began the last week of July with completed improvements to sidewalks along the side of Reynolda Road closest to Graylyn Estate.
The project, which is on schedule for hopeful completion by the end of August, is the latest in a series of safety improvements recommended in the 2014 Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Transit study. This study aimed to improve active transportation and transit choices between the WFU campus and surrounding neighborhoods through recommended infrastructure and policy changes.
During many field counts, pedestrians and cyclists were observed crossing Reynolda Road at Graylyn Court despite the lack of a designated pathway to do so safely.
“You would also see that when the traffic in the straight lanes backed up, folks would ride the middle lane up past where pedestrians would cross (at Graylyn Court),” said Kim Jackson, the current project manager for the Reynolda Road Crossing. “Which is highly dangerous.”
A crosswalk and 10-foot wide landscaped median will be installed approximately 114 feet north of the entrances to Reynolda House and Graylyn Estate, closest to Fratellis. The median will provide pedestrian refuge and a designated left turn lane into the Reynolda House entryway.
Two rapid flash beacons will be placed on both sides of the crosswalk to alert oncoming traffic of pedestrian crossings. The rapid flash beacons are solar powered and will use thermal detection in addition to manual push buttons to begin flashing and allow pedestrians to cross safely.
The crosswalk will be connected on either side of Reynolda Road with 6-ft. wide gravel-lok paths that lead pedestrians to Reynolda House and Graylyn Estate, respectively. A similar landscaped median south of the entrances to Reynolda House and Graylyn Estate will include a designated left turn lane onto Graylyn Estate property.
In 2014, the City and University formed a Stakeholder Advisory Group to guide the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Transit study with representation from the university, the community, and government entities. This engagement with stakeholders continued to be a priority with the kickoff of the project in fall 2019. A public input session for community members was hosted on October 16 at Graylyn Conference Center to gather feedback about the project’s design and implementation. Community members were also invited to submit feedback by phone and email.
“Stakeholder engagement is important to clearly understand the community’s support for the initiative and to learn from the end-users’ observations and experiences to improve the proposed design solutions,” said Rosalba Ledezma, Senior Advisor for Facilities and Campus Services who coordinated the October stakeholder input session. “Support for the project and appreciation for the initiative to improve pedestrian safety were the clear messages received.”
Those who offered input were hopeful that this project would be the first of many pedestrian improvements along city roads in the neighborhood, according to Ledezma.
Given that the city of Winston-Salem holds the right-of-way property rights to areas impacted by the project plans, a right-of-way encroachment agreement was required for the project to proceed. The city entered into such an agreement with the university on June 26, 2020.
The project was designed in consultation with Stimmel Associates, PA and is contracted with Frank L. Blum Construction.