Pedestrian Safety in the city

The washington post has an article on improving pedestrian safety in the city, but they only hint at one very easy thing that could make the urban D.C. or any other cities streets safer for pedestrians. The article suggests “Give pedestrians a few seconds head start at stop lights, before cars are given a green signal.” This is a good start but what we really need is to separate the pedestrian walk signal from the traffics green light. As a driver when I see red I stop then look to see if it is safe to do a turn on red, when I see green I have been programmed to go. The same thing is true for pedestrians when you see stop you don’t cross when you see walk you walk. It is counter intuitive for a driver or pedestrian to see a green light or walk sign then have to proceed with caution because pedestrian or car might be crossing into your path. Every day I see drivers sitting waiting a green light while pedestrians are crossing, stressing out the drivers trying to make their turn before the light turns and pedestrians scared that they are going to be run over by aggressive drivers.

We need to separate the pedestrian crossing signal with green lights. The walk sign should only be lit when all traffic has been signaled to stop for a safe traversal of the crossing. This will make it much safer for pedestrians and easier for drivers. It may even make the traffic flow more smoothly in an already congested city.

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One Response to “Pedestrian Safety in the city”

  1. […] I wrote about this very issue in May […]