SCRANTON -- Work will begin this month to make a popular walking trail in Lackawanna County safer for the people who use it.
It comes after two runners were hit by a car while using the trail this summer.
Paul Merkel and his wife use the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Trail several times a week when the weather is nice, traveling close to 20 miles along the Lackawanna River.
But, they say crossing Elm Street in Scranton to go from the parking lot to the trailhead is sometimes the toughest part.
"The people, they don't stop for you. if they see you there they won't stop for you," Merkel said. "They should stop for somebody who is crossing the street, you know, that's why they put the signs there."
There are yield signs telling drivers to stop for people crossing on the trail but Merkel says they're often ignored.
This month, the organization that maintains the trail will begin a $200,000 safety improvement project.
The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority will make improvements in six spots along the trail where the trail meets a road.
"Anything they do is an improvement to what it is," Merkel added.
The LHVA plans to add new reflective markings on the road and a push button for trail users that sets off blinking lights to alert drivers.
Frank Staneski frequents the part of the trail near Broadway Street in Scranton.
"They just go right through, like it's an interstate highway, you know?"
Back in July, two runners were hit while crossing Broadway Street in a large group. Additional safety improvements will be done at this intersection.
LHVA officials say they plan to make the sidewalks wider here to bottleneck the road in an effort to slow traffic.
"They're trying to do their best on the safety concerns and make it a safer crossing for the people because it's used all year round, really," Staneski added.
The work on the safety improvements on the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail is expected to last until the spring.