Dependable Erection

Friday, July 10, 2009

So that's what it takes

To get municipal and NCDOT officials on the same page to improve conditions on our surface streets.

Damn shame, if you ask me.
Two weeks after the death of a 16-year-old girl at an intersection near Cary Park, town officials and the state Department of Transportation have agreed on plans to try to make the crossing safer for pedestrians and drivers alike.

A traffic signal and pedestrian crossing lights with countdown timers will be installed at the intersection at Green Level to Durham Road and Cary Glen Boulevard within 60 days, the town announced Thursday. Such a project usually takes up to six months, but city and state officials said they hope to expedite the process.

In addition, Cary officials will conduct a long-term study of traffic along Green Level to Durham Road between Morrisville Parkway and McCrimmon Parkway in hopes of relieving other driver and pedestrian concerns, said Director of Engineering Tim Bailey.

"We did receive a lot of feedback from citizens in the area about travel patterns along that corridor, complaints about things like people speeding or pedestrian travel paths, that aren't completely addressed with the installation of a traffic signal," Bailey said. "We want to help deal more broadly with the citizen concerns that we saw and create a better opportunity for more citizen feedback."

I don't think we have enough 16 year olds to sacrifice to the traffic gods in order to improve all the unsafe roads and bad driving habits in the Triangle. Maybe some of our officials could be proactive in this, and not wait for more deaths to act.

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4 Comments:

  • Hmm... I dont think the light went up because the teenager was killed, but because the community stood up and the city listened.

    By Blogger Moe Rivera & Alex Ross, at 3:22 PM  

  • Sadly, it's been my experience that the listening skills of our governmental figures get a whole lot better after there's been a death or serious injury.

    Obviously, i don't live in Cary, so i can;t be certain about this. But something in this paragraph, "We did receive a lot of feedback from citizens in the area about travel patterns along that corridor, complaints about things like people speeding or pedestrian travel paths, that aren't completely addressed with the installation of a traffic signal," Bailey said. "We want to help deal more broadly with the citizen concerns that we saw and create a better opportunity for more citizen feedback." makes me think this isn't the first time elected and appointed officials have heard from local residents about this intersection.

    Just sayin'.

    By Blogger Barry, at 3:37 PM  

  • It sounds to me like they were already getting plenty of citizen feedback, even before they created a "better opportunity" for such.

    The problem, as you say, is that the feedback not taken very seriously until someone was killed.

    IMHO, disparate local efforts to improve pedestrian safety at this or that intersection will be ineffectual unless there is a nationwide effort to change the way people drive. If ignoring speed limits and other traffic laws is seen as a danger to self and others, a la smoking, then we might start to see change. Until then, speed limits and pedestrian crosswalks will continue to be viewed as annoyances, not life savers.

    By OpenID mrsdependable, at 11:12 AM  

  • Mrs. Dependable, I believe that you are onto something. We need a comprehensive educational effort to teach drivers about the dangers to not only other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians of speeding, but also to themselves. Does Durham or the state have the political will to launch such a campaign? I don't know. I do like what Australia has done here.

    By Blogger SteveG, at 10:10 PM  

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