Giving People Walking A Safe Start

The linked article from the NY Times describes a simple tweak used to modify the timing of signals and intersections such that those walking are less that risk from those driving and making turns.
The intervention is a reprogramming of signal timing such that the pedestrian walk signal is activated several seconds before the green light for drivers. This allows those walking to get a head start in the crosswalk making them more visible. The result is demonstrable less risk, especially from more aggressive drivers.
“The National Association of City Transportation Officials has highlighted the measure — called a “leading pedestrian interval” by traffic engineers and urban planners — as a best practice in its urban street design guide, saying that it is one of the ways that “effectively decrease crashes and save lives on our cities’ streets.””
This signal tweak is one that any city, large or small, can use with benefit.
And, yet again, this is a clear example of how small cities, late starters like Brockville especially, can gain by following best demonstrated practices in larger cities.

Author: Alan Medcalf

Alan is a post-corporate, volunteer, community builder living in Brockville, Ontario. He seeks to create sustainable lifestyle advantage for the community by creating opportunities for more people to choose to walk and to ride bikes. He promotes the health, social, environmental and economic benefits of active mobility.

2 thoughts on “Giving People Walking A Safe Start”

  1. This delay is a great idea, although it probably works best in cities like NY where right on red is only allowed by signage. It could help with right on red as well, but a driver turning right might do so just as the advance walk signal occurs.

    1. Good points, Bob. Changing the default rule for “right on red” as NY has done is also a common tactic in cities that have adopted Vision Zero. In Brockville, an advance walk signal might prove to be a useful measure for intersections such as Ormond and Parkedale, if we encounter left-turning drivers from Ormond not yielding to those in the crosswalk. BTW, the new PXO on Ormond at Bramshot is expected to be activated on Friday morning.

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