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Cross Walks

walkzonesMap sent in by Bill Dalton. Click on the map for a larger view.

Trying to get from one side of Esplanade Avenue to the other can sometimes make one “cross”. But, that’s not what crosswalks should be. There are three dotted line areas noted in the map above which are crosswalks on Esplanade between Broad and Moss Street. These should be safe havens for pedestrians to cross Esplanade Avenue not a run-for-your-life situation.

Crosswalks aren’t ignored just in New Orleans. If you believe it is important enough to do something about, please continue reading.

Charlie London

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Emilie Bahr had this to say in a May 18, 2016 editorial at nola.com

As an avid runner and walker and a new mom to a 6-week-old, I’m increasingly concerned about the general lack of care or understanding on the part of drivers in this city as to the meaning of crosswalks. As I stroll my baby around my neighborhood, I’ve been alarmed and outraged by the number of drivers who have nearly hit me or who have simply sped through the intersection as I’ve attempted to cross the street with my stroller in plain view, ignoring the newly-striped crosswalks on Esplanade Avenue in Faubourg St. John.

It’s a phenomenon that is by no means limited to my neighborhood. Despite a state law that drivers must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, I’ve never seen a police officer pull someone over for this common infraction. I am heartened by progress being made in the form of signs installed around town notifying drivers of the law that seem to be helping to change driver behavior at those intersections, but many more signs are needed, along with stepped up traffic enforcement and driver education.

Lawmakers are considering Louisiana’s first-ever law to increase penalties against motorists who strike and injure or kill someone on the road who wasn’t also driving a van, car or truck.

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luche

Mexico City has a lot of things going for it, but it’s not a great place to walk. It has one of the highest pedestrian fatality rates in the world: there were approximately 1,000 pedestrian deaths in 2014, compared to 132 in New York City and 64 in London. (Each city has a population around 8.5 million.)

But Mexico City residents have a secret weapon: 29-year-old civil servant Jorge Cañez, who moonlights as Peatónito, a lucha libre defender of pedestrian rights. (Pedestrians are peatones in Spanish.)

Please visit the link below for the rest of the story:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mexico-citys-lucha-libre-hero-comes-to-pedestrians-rescue_us_56901ed1e4b0c8beacf7064a

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In 2010, I highlighted crosswalk safety.  I received the following from neighbor Diane Angelico:

Diane Angelico writes, “excellent idea. An elderly gentleman who lived where Kelly and Bob Thibeau live now was struck by a car and killed crossing on esplanade. Do not know if it was that intersection or the one straight down Grand Route. This happened back in the mid to late 80s.”

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10 Ways to Make Streets Safer: A Primer for the Citizen

by Jill Escher of Walk San Jose

1. Put in Zebra Stripes at Key Crosswalks
The easiest and least expensive thing a city can do to improve conditions for pedestrians is to simply improve the visibility and prominence of crosswalks on high-volume streets.

2. Place Bicycle Lanes on More Streets
Another inexpensive action is bike lanes. They make the streets safer for bike use, thus encouraging bicycling as an alternative to the car. They separate pedestrians further from car traffic and they narrow car lanes in some cases, causing cars to slow down.

3. Place Pedestrian Islands/Refuges on Busy Streets
Refuge Islands bring the safety of the raised sidewalk to the center of the street. This can be an effective way to improve safety without having to install an expensive traffic signal. It can be particularly effective when combined with corner “bulb-outs.” See #5.

4. Restore our “Stolen” Corners
City’s should restore tight, old-fashioned “square” corners to our intersections, and discard the broad, rounded “speedway” corners currently favored by traffic engineers. The modern, broad corners induce motorists to speed as they make turns through intersections, they create unduly large intersections that are scary to cross on foot, and they steal key territory from pedestrians and give it to cars.

5. Place “Bulb-outs” at Key Intersections
Imagine blowing air into a regular street corner’s sidewalk until it expands out into the intersection a few feet on all sides. That’s a bulb-out! These type of curb extenders are popular in retail districts. They shorten the distance across a street and make pedestrians more visible to oncoming drivers. They also slow car speeds which is a boon to nearby retail stores. Store owners want people to slow down and look, and they want people to be able to easily cross the street to their store.

6. Add More Crosswalks
Some cities claim to be improving pedestrian safety by removing crosswalks. They argue that crosswalks provide a “false sense of security.” They are wrong. What crosswalks do is communicate to motorists that they should yield to pedestrians. Without crosswalks, motorists are simply not inclined to stop for a pedestrian. What we need are safer crosswalks. Lighted crosswalks or raised crosswalks are good examples. (In Arcata, Calif., crosswalks were erased to erase “liability.” -ed.)

7. Convert Four-lane “Collector” Streets to Three-lane “Multi-modal” Streets
A three lane street has periodic turning lanes which efficiently take turning cars out of the flow of traffic. Four lane roads are less efficient because turning movements are unpredictable and require a lane change into flowing traffic. It is much safer for a pedestrian to cross this type of street than a standard four lane street with no median. This treatment creates the
opportunity to add bicycle lanes without removing any parking spaces.

8. Install Roundabouts
Medium-sized traffic circles and small-sized roundabouts are increasingly popular traffic control devices. They are an effective and inexpensive alternative to traffic signals or stop signs.

9. Install Speed Humps
Speed humps can be effective at diverting cut-through traffic from neighborhood streets, and slowing traffic down to about 15 MPH. They are much less jarring than their smaller counterpart, “speed bumps.”

10. Join your local affiliate group
We can connect you to other advocates and help you to get educated as well as to educate others.

courtesy: Walk San Jose, in turn from THE PEDESTRIAN FOOT PRINT, The Bay Area’s Pedestrian Newsletter: Vol. 2, Issue 3, February 2000. Published monthly by BayPeds.

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DRIVER AND PEDESTRIAN BEHAVIOR AT CROSSWALKS

A companion study was conducted by Knoblauch et al. on pedestrian and motorist behavior and on vehicle speed before and after crosswalk installation at sites in Minnesota, New York, and Virginia (on two-lane and three-lane streets) to help gain a better understanding of the effects of marked crosswalks versus unmarked crosswalks. The study results revealed that very few motorists stopped or yielded to pedestrians either before or after marked crosswalks were installed. After marked crosswalks were installed, there was a small increase in pedestrian scanning behavior before stepping out into the street.

Also, there was approximately a 1.6-km/h (1-mi/h) reduction in vehicle speed after the marked crosswalks were installed. These behavioral results tend to contradict the false sense of security claims attributed to marked crosswalks, since observed pedestrian behavior actually improved after marked crosswalks were installed at the study sites. However, measures such as pedestrian awareness and an expectation that motorists will stop for them cannot be collected by field observation alone. Installing marked crosswalks
or other measures can affect pedestrian level of service if the measures increase the number of motorists who stop and yield to pedestrians.
Reference: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/04100/04100.pdf

Pedestrians are legitimate users of the transportation system, and their needs should be identified routinely —and appropriate solutions selected—to improve pedestrian safety and access. Deciding where to mark crosswalks is only one consideration in meeting that objective.

The study results revealed that under no condition was the presence of a marked crosswalk alone at an uncontrolled location associated with a significantly lower pedestrian crash rate compared to an unmarked crosswalk. Furthermore, on multilane roads with traffic volumes greater than 12,000 vehicles per day, having a marked crosswalk was associated with a higher pedestrian crash rate (after controlling for other site factors) compared to an unmarked crosswalk. Therefore, adding marked crosswalks alone (i.e., with no engineering, enforcement, or education enhancement) is not expected to reduce pedestrian crashes for any of the conditions included in the study. On many roadways, particularly multilane and high-speed
crossing locations, more substantial improvements often are needed for safer pedestrian crossings, such as providing raised medians, installing traffic signals (with pedestrian signals) when warranted, implementing speed-reducing measures, and/or other practices. In addition, development patterns that reduce the speed and number of multilane roads should be encouraged.

Street crossing locations should be routinely reviewed to consider the three following available options:

1. No special provisions needed.

2. Provide a marked crosswalk alone.

3. Install other crossing improvements (with or without a marked crosswalk) to reduce vehicle speeds,
shorten the crossing distance, or increase the likelihood of motorists stopping and yielding.

GUIDELINES FOR CROSSWALK INSTALLATION

Marked pedestrian crosswalks may be used to delineate preferred pedestrian paths across roadways under the following conditions:

• At locations with stop signs or traffic signals to direct pedestrians to those crossing locations and to prevent vehicular traffic from blocking the pedestrian path when stopping for a stop sign or red light.

• At nonsignalized street crossing locations in designated school zones. Use of adult crossing guards, school signs and markings, and/or traffic signals with pedestrian signals (when warranted) should be considered in conjunction with the marked crosswalk, as needed.

• At nonsignalized locations where engineering judgment dictates that the number of motor vehicle lanes, pedestrian exposure, average daily traffic (ADT), posted speed limit, and geometry of the location would make the use of specially designated crosswalks desirable for traffic/pedestrian safety and mobility.

Marked crosswalks alone (i.e., without traffic-calming treatments, traffic signals and pedestrian signals when warranted, or other substantial crossing improvement) are insufficient.

Reference: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/04100/04100.pdf

Whether you walk, bike or drive, take 5 seconds to follow crosswalk safety guidelines.

Pedestrians:
• Always cross at marked crosswalks.
You forfeit your rights as a pedestrian if you cross elsewhere.
• Obey any pedestrian signals and look left-right-left
to make sure the road is clear in both directions before crossing.
• If a vehicle approaches, make eye contact with the driver
to be sure s/he sees you before you cross.
• Look before walking past stopped vehicles.
Do not cross just because a driver waves you on. Be sure all lanes are clear first.
• Remember that bicyclists are not considered pedestrians
unless they are walking their bikes. Otherwise, they are considered vehicles.
Bicyclists:
• Yield to pedestrians.
• Remember that bicyclists are not considered pedestrians
unless they are walking their bikes. Otherwise, they are considered vehicles
and forfeit their rights as pedestrians in the case of an accident or citation.
• Use marked bike paths or multi-use paths when available.
• Obey vehicular traffic signals and laws on the roadways.
• Use extra caution as you transition between bike paths, roads and sidewalks.
Be aware that your actions are unpredictable to drivers and pedestrians.

Drivers:
• Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections.
• Be prepared to stop
at all marked crosswalks. Stay alert and reduce speed in areas with crosswalks.
• Be alert for bicyclists and skateboarders
whose approaches to the crosswalk may be much swifter than those of pedestrians.
• Come to a complete stop
if pedestrians are crossing or preparing to cross.
• Wait until pedestrians have crossed at least one lane past the lane you are in
before resuming travel.
• Never pass another vehicle that has stopped or is slowing down at a crosswalk.

About the author
Charlie London
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www.FSJNA.org is a community service of Charlie London. Charlie London is the Content Strategist for Faubourg St. John. Click on the icons above this text for more. Even more information is available at http://katrinafilm.com Links to the original article (when applicable) are provided in the post.