Dependable Erection

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Speaking of pedestrian safety

Here's another article in the Herald Sun talking about crosswalk signals at Durham Tech:
The traffic signals, which city officials say will be fully functional in about two weeks, will come too late for the three people who have been struck and injured since 1999 by cars while crossing the street.

The traffic signals themselves have been in place for several weeks now. On Tuesday, city workers were busy putting the finishing touches on the traffic signals' electrical work. One worker said the signals must first be inspected before becoming fully operational.

Phil Loziuk, a traffic operations engineer for the City of Durham, said the decision was made in the fall to install the traffic signals after a study showed the crosswalk met minimal federal guidelines for a signalized crosswalk. Before, Loziuk said installing traffic signals at the crosswalk was "not warranted or needed."

The guidelines for installing traffic signals at pedestrian crosswalks are 190 pedestrians for one hour or four consecutive hours with 100 people or more using the crosswalk each hour.

Wanda Maggert, senior vice president for institutional advancement at Durham Tech, said the sooner the traffic signals are functioning the better.

"We've had people who been hit and we've had so many near misses that it's not even funny," Maggert said.

Two key pieces of information are missing from the article as far as i can tell. First - State law requires that drivers yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, and under some conditions requires that drivers yield to pedestrians even if they aren't in a crosswalk. The second thing i'd like to know is, how many citations have been written by Durham police officers and sheriff's deputies for violating pedestrian's right of way at this location over the past ten years?

I'll bet it's not too many.



  • I drive down this street about four times per week, and have watched the progression of 'improvements'. Here are my thoughts:

    1. As large as the campus area is, it's ridiculous to think every student is going to go out of his/her way to cross at the ONE crosswalk... So instead of having two or three 10' wide crossings, you have one that is 100' wide.

    2. Having the bus stops AT THE CROSSWALK is incredibly stupid. You end up with fifty people crowding on the sidewalk at the crossing points and there's no way to know which one is going to step off and into the street. Even when you're driving 15 miles an hour, it's annoying to slam on brakes because it wasn't clear someone was trying to cross. Also, the buses block the view of any- and everything at the crossing point. This factors into #1 above, when students move down the sidewalk (away from the crossing point) to look for oncoming traffic.

    It would have been a better use of time/energy/funding to (1) create a bus turn-out and (2) instill students with some sort of confidence... if you *look* like you're going to cross the street, I'm going to stop for you. If you look undecided or like you're just hanging out waiting for a bus, a friend, or the second coming, I'm not going to stop and issue an engraved invitation.

    By Blogger girlnblack77, at 7:19 AM  

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