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Railroad Avenue pedestrian crossing is a traffic hazard

Original post made by Occasional Cyclist, Danville, on Oct 11, 2009

The pedestrian crossing bulb-out on Railroad Avenue is a traffic hazard that is more likely to create new wheelchair users than help someone already in one.

The aim, of making the street more wheelchair friendly, is laudable but the execution is simply dangerous; you only have to look at the black marks to see how many car tire sidewalls it has claimed, and it completely blocks the north bound bike lane.

OK during the day there are often cars parked in the bike lane but at night, in the dark and perhaps rain no amount of white repainting is going to take away it's potential to injure and possibly maim an unwary cyclist.

Comments (3)

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Posted by Barbara
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2009 at 2:17 pm

I completely agree. This crosswalk is a hazard. As a driver, I'm extremely nervous that someone will unknowningly step out into the street and I won't have enough time to stop. Afterall, pedestrians in the crosswalk with flashing lights don't need to look and make sure there are no cars, that have the right away to just walk.

As a cyclist, I approached the town when this was first installed, upset the bike lane was removed and was told that cyclists need to ride in the road, share it with cars. Jeeze - I've been cursed at by many a driver. I suggested remving the on street parking to help improve the visibility. That was a no go.

I suppose the city will need to wait until something awful happens ... something pretty traumatic, right in front of the restaurant.

Be careful, not anticipting anything to change.

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Posted by mikemck
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm

I agree, I bike and drive my car right through here all the time. I am super cautious as several times there are people that are standing on the bulb and they are very hard to make out against the landscaping. Plus one step in the road and they could be hit easily by a car that does not see them. And I worry that the flashers offer a false sense of security because pedestrians are known to dangerously assume that drivers see them. This is way too dangerous for the pedestrian.

For the biker, it is dangerous as well. Car drivers, hard to believe they would want to "save" three extra seconds, burn extra gas, and wear their brakes more than they need to, have insisted on passing me (on bike) on that short stretch or road between two stop signs.

This needs to change ASAP before someone is maimed or killed due to its poor design. But who here believes the beaurocrats will do anything until an accident occurs.

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Posted by Occasional Cyclist
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2009 at 11:26 pm

I'm fine with embedded flashers although, in these times of distracted driving, it is dangerous to assume they will be honored.

And the siting seems suspect. This is already a very short block, so I don't see this crossing doing much to improve accessibility, but I'd be interested to hear an opposing view from someone who would otherwise have a hard time visiting those businesses.

Barbara - I too contacted the town when this crossing first went in and was told to use the Iron Horse Trail if I wasn't comfortable mixing it with traffic in the middle of the road. Helpful, eh?

Take care!

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