Traverse City Advocacy Alert – Keep the Grandview Parkway Pedestrian Signs!
*UPDATE 6/15/18 5:30pm*
“Thank you for your note supporting the new crosswalk signing on Grandview Parkway.
Complaints about close calls involving pedestrians and bicyclists – generally situations with drivers in one lane stopping, but drivers in the second lane not seeing or yielding to pedestrians – prompted us to renew conversations with Traverse City officials about the effectiveness of the new signing. While these new crosswalk signs were installed last summer, there remains some confusion as to motorist and driver responsibility. Some of that, we suspect, is due to the local ordinance that requires drivers on city streets to stop for pedestrians waiting to cross, which many pedestrians experience just a few blocks away on Front Street.
State law does not prescribe the same behavior when it comes to crossing state highways, but the Uniform Traffic Code puts responsibility on both drivers (requiring them to stop for pedestrians who are already within the lane they are traveling in) and pedestrians (requiring them to identify a safe gap in traffic before stepping into the street). We have signs on the side of the road directed at pedestrians, reminding them of that responsibility. The in-street signs on Grandview Parkway are being used to draw attention to drivers that they should expect pedestrians to be crossing in the area. These crossings represent our cooperative effort with the city to make crossing safer.
That’s not to say there isn’t room to improve. We’re working with the city to look at other future improvements or modifications. At this time we plan to leave the signs in place through this season, in order to have two years of data to review on the crossings’ safety. That experience will give is a true safety comparison to the crosswalks prior to the new signing. We have to ensure that the perceived safety improvement matches with an actual safety improvement borne out by the data, and not just a perception. Safety was our goal in starting this pilot project, and will be our goal as we move forward and consider options and improvements.
Thank you for your note. Safe travels.”
Last year, three in-street “Yield for Pedestrians Within Crosswalk” signs were installed on Grandview Parkway at Elmwood, Oak, and Hall Streets. While these signs certainly have not transformed Grandview into a pedestrian paradise, they have made crossing the high speed, 4-lane stroad a bit safer and more comfortable for people walking.
Unfortunately, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is already considering the removal of these signs. This would be a huge step in the wrong direction. Removing the in-street signs without a superior alternative would be a clear message from MDOT that the efficiency of moving automobiles at a high rate of speed is more important than the safety of people trying to move between our neighborhoods and our bayfront.
We need your help.
Please contact MDOT today and share your support for a safer and more pedestrian friendly Parkway. Use THIS FORM to share your feedback.
Looking for additional info on in-street pedestrian signage, here you go:
- An in-street pedestrian crossing sign makes it easier and safer for a pedestrian to cross at an unsignalized crossing. https://www.clrp.cornell.edu/
- Pedestrians are legitimate users of the transportation system, and they should, therefore, be able to use this system safely and without unreasonable delay (figure 1). Pedestrians have a right to cross roads safely, and planners and engineers have a professional responsibility to plan, design, and install safe and convenient crossing facilities. Pedestrians should be included as design users for all streets. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/
- The In-Street Pedestrian Crosswalk Sign provides enhanced conspicuity at un-signalized intersections in order to alert motorists to local laws concerning yielding to or stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks. The effectiveness of these pedestrian safety signs have been repeatedly supported by independent testing to demonstrate distinct changes in motorist behavior and accident incidence following installation. http://www.impactrecovery.com/
- Warning signs and lights can help alert unfamiliar motorists to the presence of pedestrians who may be crossing the street. Warning signs should be used at locations where drivers may not typically expect pedestrians to cross and at locations where school children frequently cross. http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/
- In street signs make pedestrian crossings safer. https://rapidcityjournal.com/
news/new-signs-aim-to-make- pedestrian-crossings-safer/ article_a058f65a-7dff-11e1- b7a2-0019bb2963f4.html