Engineering Solutions for Pedestrians
Followup on posting about the recent crosswalk enhancement on Brentwood Road NE:
Background: Brentwood is a four-lane, heavily traveled roadway between a Home Depot and a small shopping center containing a Department of Motor Vehicles office. It's a difficult crossing for pedestrians.
The new crosswalk installed by the District Department of Transportation to enhance pedestrian safety is quite visible, and has prominent signs alerting drivers that they must stop for pedestrians. A walker can hit a red button that sets amber lights flashing on both sides of the road. (The amber lights are below the words "in CROSSWALKS" in the picture.)
I found traffic stopped most of the time, but had one bracing experience in which a truck didn't even slow down after I hit the button and walked out.
Update: George Branyan, the District's pedestrian program coordinator, said this design isn't perfect, but is a big improvement. DDOT, which recently made public its draft pedestrian master plan for the entire city, will be monitoring this site and looking for lessons learned.
Branyan said a standard traffic signal wouldn't be the best solution for this intersection, south of Rhode Island Avenue NE. Instead, a roundabout is scheduled to be built.
"A traffic signal only slows people down when it's red, whereas a roundabout will slow down every vehicle," he said.
Posted by: Rich | June 18, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse
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