Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pedestrian signs update: New locations, and some wear and tear

by Michelle Stenzel

More "Stop for Pedestrian" signs have been placed in Lincoln Park, and they're working well. From my observations at various installations over the past few weeks, it seems that most drivers are much more likely to drive slower as they approach, and stop when needed to allow pedestrians to cross. Sure, there are always the occasional drivers who have no problem buzzing past people in the crosswalk in spite of the signs, but that's now the exception.

There are now five signs at uncontrolled intersections (where there is no stop sign nor stop light) on Clark, between Fullerton and Diversey. These crosswalks see a very high volume of people crossing due to the wonderful variety of shops and restaurants on both sides of Clark.

More after the jump!


Since we last reported on this blog, there's at least one more sign on Stockton Drive, this one at Roslyn, which is two streets north of Fullerton, and has bus stops for the 151 and 156 on both sides.

There are also signs up on Lincoln at Montana, which is the first street north of Fullerton.

The signs still work just fine, but it's obvious that they've already taken a few direct hits from wayward vehicles in just the first few weeks they've been installed.

These signs are almost four feet high and highly reflective in the dark, so it's hard to imagine why drivers can't avoid hitting them, if they're moving at appropriate speeds and looking at the road ahead.
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  1. I like the idea of these signs, and I think they are helping to change the driving culture. However, I think the sign location in the center of the street creates a hazard for cyclists. This morning I rode down Clark St and watched cars veering into the bike lane each time they passed one of these signs. Also, the placement of these signs at intersections of the LFT creates a hazard for trail users who may not see the signs from the side when the trail is busy and crash into the signs.

    A safer solution I think is to place the same signs on the poles on the sides of the street at the crosswalks.

    1. Thanks for commenting! I agree that drivers tend to over-avoid the mid-street signs and therefore veer into the bike lane, and that's not optimal. However, I don't think that a sign on a pole at the side of the street is the solution. Actually, I know it's not the solution; that's what we've had all along all these years, and they did nothing to make drivers stop. The signs on the side of the street are simply ignored. The in-street signs are much harder to ignore. They're not perfect, but I think on the whole, they're a great tool. --M.S.