- See more at: http://www.bloggerhow.com/2012/07/implement-twitter-cards-blogger-blogspot.html/#sthash.DO2JBejM.dpuf

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Conflicted Crosswalks: The Grand Concourse

You know it's bad when they put up the You're-gonna-die signage.

Getting across the Grand Concourse in one piece can be a challenge. The combination of long crossing distances and multiple conflicting movements from split side streets gives turning drivers seemingly endless possibilities to take a shot at you. And virtually every car on the cross streets are turning (through traffic bypasses the intersection by passing below the Grand Concourse).

Even with the challenging physical conditions presented by these intersections, there seem to be some easy improvements that might help pedestrians. High-visibility crosswalk markings are one example. There may be opportunities to make the yield signage more visible to motorists and locate it to better influence behavior before drivers make their decisions. The signal timing should also be reviewed to give pedestrians a head start.

Given the long crossing distances and relatively low volumes of traffic on the cross streets, the phase for the cross streets would be set by the required pedestrian crossing time. Since the cross street traffic could almost certainly clear with less time than the pedestrians need to cross the whole street, the possibility of a leading pedestrian interval (giving the pedestrians their light while the conflicting drivers continue to wait) should be possible.

The signs warning pedestrians to be cautious may be a necessary evil. Nevertheless, it sends the wrong message when responsibility is publicly assigned to pedestrians to avoid getting hit by a car when measures have not been taken to make the location safer.

The Department of Transportation has recently taken a new step in the right direction by designating a portion of the Concourse a Slow Zone. Simply reducing the speed limit without implementing other traffic calming and pedestrian safety changes won't have a lasting impact, though. Hopefully there will be more substantive work coming soon.

There may be truly exciting possibilities for a radical redesign, too.  Stay tuned for more thoughts on transforming the Grand Concourse into a safer, more comfortable, more attractive boulevard.

No comments:

Post a Comment