HONESDALE - Workers from the borough's Department of Public Works were installing new, solar-powered crosswalk signs Wednesday on Main and Church streets.

Nine signs were being placed on each street at every legal crosswalk, officials said.

The pedestrian-activated signs promote safety awareness, said Rich Doney, director of the DPW.

The signs run on solar-charged batteries, meaning there is no charge for electricity.

"It's all run by the sun," Doney said as he and another worker installed a sign at 10th and Church streets.

The cost of the signs is about $144,000.

The borough is seeking a grant from PennDOT in the hopes of having about 60 percent of the costs covered, said council members Scott Smith and Juanita Pisano.

Council should know some time this year whether it will receive the funding.

The money would come from the Community Development Block Grant program.

The signs operate by pedestrians pushing a button, which activates lights that let motorists know someone is crossing the street.

A radio transmitter inside the boxes sends a signal between the signs to activate the lights.

Prior the the flashing signs, a large vehicle could be legally parked at the end of a block, obscuring pedestrians, Smith said.

As a result the pedestrians do not become visible to motorists until they are in the street, he said.

"The drivers can't see them," said the councilman.

Several people, including two women walking with children, complimented the borough workers putting up the signs, saying the signs make crossing safer.

Council members also are happy with the new additions.

"It's the best thing the DPW has ever come up with," Pisano said, adding that she believes the signs will cut down on potential accidents.

"I think it's a wonderful thing. It's a big improvement for the pedestrians," said the councilwoman.

Councilman Robert Jennings said, "It's certainly a worthwhile project," noting that it will be particularly beneficial to the elderly.

Council President James Brennan and police Chief Rick Southerton also said the crosswalks are a positive safety addition in the borough.