ASK THE BORED: Crosswalk safety and the silent CM? Hey, we’re delighted whenever someone repeats what we’ve been saying for weeks on end.

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In other words, precisely what was written here on November 28 — and we thank the councilman for reading.

Grid Control, Vol. 30: These weird, useless “enhanced” crosswalk gizmos remind us that HWC’s and Deaf Gahan’s “complete roads” downtown are not “complete streets.”

This passage might have been written by HWC Engineering, hence the sad reality of the imperfect implementation of two-way roads (are they streets?) in New Albany.

That’s because as a non-automotive user of the city streets, I’ve found these credit-card-sized flashing beacons to be complete and utter jokes.

People walking still will find it far safer to look both ways and cross in the middle of a block; in spite of claims that traffic is moving more slowly since the reversion, the fact is that far too few calming measures were built into the rebooted grid. Team Gahan bet the farm that “friction” alone would calm traffic sufficiently for the myriad other two-way benefits to emerge.

Maybe, though these streets are still straightaways, just like before. They’re still built to promote speed and indifference, just like before, though now with “enhanced” crosswalk beacons intended not as a legitimate means of rectifying a root problem, but as a “hey, we did something” gesture, another bright, shiny paste-over symbol, this one pointing to how the fundamental mobility issues downtown have not been addressed at all by a “modernization” program that preserved (certainly on purpose) the downtown grid as composed of “complete roads” rather than altered into “complete streets.”

By the way, Greg … it’s just the way your political mentor Deaf Gahan wanted it to be. You, me and all the others have been the victims of a bait ‘n’ switch. I hope you continue to speak out publicly about it, and don’t worry; I’m sure Greg Fischer won’t unfriend you.

NEW ALBANY: Crosswalk safety questioned, by Chris Morris (Hanson Diffusion Compiler)

Education on flashing yellow lights needed, councilman says

NEW ALBANY — New Albany’s grid modernization plan, which converted downtown streets to two-way traffic, has been well received by the driving public. But that is not what brought City Councilman Greg Phipps to Tuesday’s New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Tuesday.

Phipps told the board he is concerned about pedestrian safety at the new crosswalks. He fears a majority of drivers don’t understand when the yellow light is flashing to yield to pedestrians. He said that is a formula for disaster.

“I’m afraid a pedestrian will start out in the crosswalk and a driver will be distracted and not see them,” Phipps said.

The news crosswalks are activated by a chip. City engineer Larry Summers said some of the chips are not functioning correctly and will have to be replaced. He also said a list is being made of crosswalks and areas along the conversion grid that need to be addressed.

Phipps said a few intersections are more dangerous than others, singling out the one at 10th and Elm streets. He said the red flashing light there has been taken down and drivers are “not coming to a complete stop.”

“Motorists are not stopping when lights are flashing,” he said.

He said he has seen similar issues at crosswalks at 13th and Spring streets, Eighth and Elm streets and in front of St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Spring Street.

Educating the public is key, Phipps said. He said there has been some information about the new crosswalks tucked inside monthly sewer bills. He also told the board he would be in favor of the city paying for and placing flexible yellow cones at intersections to warn the public.

“They [motorists] are used to stopping at red flashing lights, but they need to understand a yellow light flashing alerts them to pedestrians, and pedestrians always have the right of way,” Phipps said …

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