Friday, June 20, 2008

Ped Safety this week

The Greater Greater Washington blog addresses Pedestrian Safety in the District with issues both inside Ward 3 and around town.

There is a Pedestrian safety Forum hosted by Councilmember Mary Cheh on Tuesday at 6:30 in the UDC Auditorium.

Meanwhile on the afore mentioned blog, the author discusses the Pedestrian Signal at Morrison Street in Chevy Chase, DC:

DC has only one Barnes Dance type signal, at Connecticut and Morrison that's the subject of neighborhood controversy. DDOT installed this signal last year, replacing a stop sign. Instead of a regular traffic light, this one is blinking yellow on Connecticut (allowing cars to go) and blinking red on Morrison (like a stop sign) until a pedestrian presses a button to cross. Then, the light waits until the lights at neighboring blocks are red on Connecticut before changing to all-red for cars and a walk sign for pedestrians. There's also a "no turn on red" sign to make it clear that during the all-red phase, cars are not supposed to turn right.

This is great for pedestrian safety, eliminating the danger of being hit by turning cars. But some cars turn on the red anyway, so accustomed to being able to turn right on red. Instead of adding better signs to deal with the confusion, many local ANC members are pushing to convert this light to a traditional three-color signal. We should have more pedestrian signals, not fewer, and at the very least should make sure to give this one a shot before scrapping it.

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