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Crosswalks and bus stops

So on the street I drive up to get home, there are lots of bus stops, and lots of crosswalks at unsigned intersections. It’s a five lane road with lots of traffic and relatively high speeds for a city street, so you’re kinda taking your life in your own hands should you choose to step out into a crosswalk that’s not at a sign. The usual mode of failure is that someone does stop for a pedestrian, the person behind the stopper doesn’t know that it’s a pedestrian, they think the stopper is turning, parking, or waiting for a parking spot, so they change lanes and go around. Screech bang pedestrian.

Of course there’s only one of them fancy embedded-in-the-pavement flashing-light-thingies anywhere in the city (and its false positive rate means everyone pretty much ignores it), so there’s really no way to know why the car is stopping and you shouldn’t change lanes.

The thing that bugs me though is that all the crosswalks are at bus stops. Which kinda makes sense – that’s where the people getting off the bus want to cross. But it also means there’s a gaggle of people at the crosswalk, I mean bus stop, stepping out into the street to see if the bus is coming. Because that’s what people do. So if you’re driving on this road at 35 MPH and you see someone stepping out into the crosswalk, you have to make the instant decision – is s/he really crossing the street, or just looking? With the penalty for the wrong decision varying from really bad, to getting rear-ended, to only wasting your time and getting honked at.

With the result being that everyone pretty much blows right through the crosswalks because you can’t tell and 95% of the time, they’re just looking for the bus.

But the right answer is 1) put in a light and a button to make the light go off (flashing lights in the crosswalk are good if they work!) 2) move the crosswalk across the street from the bus stop. Not far. The bus stops are always after an intersection. Put the crosswalk on the non-bus-stop part of the intersection, so that drivers can tell. There’s a little bit of suckage if you’re the pedestrian, but a whole lot less than getting hit at 35 mph.

And I walk about 7-9 miles per day, bicycle 10, along with driving, so I am looking at this from all three perspectives.