Mid-block crosswalks were being examined and some were under consideration for removal. Why? Some studies show that mid-block crosswalks can be unsafe.
After the lengthy debate, the Commissioners voted and a majority voted to keep the crosswalk and add enhancements to make the walkway safer. Most cited their concerns if they took the crosswalk away that residents and visitors would cross anyway creating an unsafe roadway.
The municipality didn’t have any money for the enhancements and the staff looked into potential grant options.
After 2012, finding that the state had approved a tool to enhance the safety of the crosswalk and understanding that grant funding might not be possible. I asked the Commission to consider funding through our 2012 unassigned funds. We voted in the Summer of 2013 for this measure and it was approved.
What has happened since?
In the late Fall, I inquired about the crosswalk and the enhancements. While ordering, the staff was informed about a lengthy delay in the poles used on each end of the crosswalk. We were also informed that the traffic engineer did not recommend the ground lighting for the pavement.
This past meeting the project came up again and I raised the concerns with wanting us to see ground lighting added back. The original project did have this aspect of the crosswalk enhancements and I felt strongly about having this lighting in the project. I understand that we are not going to eliminate all driver behavior, but the alert of flashing lights may catch some distracted drivers that maybe in a “zone”, using electronic devices or sleepy.
Here is a demo from Spot Devices on a similar lighting system.
Here are some products on the market:
I also found these items to be helpful for information:
Kirkland, WA They have 30 installations and do address that the older models are not as good as the new.
Please let me know your thoughts about Washington Road Crosswalk.