The intersection of N. Mason and Cherry has been a death trap for pedestrians and bicyclists alike. Motorists, in a hurry to make the light at College, often jet through that intersection with little care for pedestrian traffic. (Westbound motorists tend to be much more sympathetic to pedestrians. Because they’re not gunning for a light, they’re more likely to notice the pedestrian crossing signs as well as the pedestrians themselves.) On many occasions I have seen motorists come within a foot or two of pedestrians that had the right of way. I have even witnessed a mother having to race while pushing a stroller because the truck driver couldn’t be bothered to even slow down for a family crossing at a crosswalk.
But that crazy behavior might now be a thing of the past. *crosses fingers* There have been multiple improvements made to that crosswalk within the past week that are worth crowing about.
At each of the crosswalk signs there’s a button pedestrians can push to activate flashing lights. Granted, they’re off to the side of the road, so they’re less visible than overhead lights, but they’ll still be especially helpful at night.
The new pavement markings indicate that motorists should yield to pedestrians using the crosswalk. They also show where the car should be stopped while waiting. One of the biggest problems that I witness at crosswalks is motorists who might slow down, a little, but they don’t come to a complete stop. So pedestrians, fearing for their lives, feel like they need to hurry across the street. This creates an uncomfortable, even scary, situation for pedestrians.
A Bulb Out
Of the three improvements, I think this one might be the best of all. A bulb-out has been added to the southeast corner of the intersection, putting pedestrians slightly out into the road where they’re more likely to be seen by eastbound motorists. The bulb-out also reduces the distance that pedestrians have to cross within the intersection.
If you use the intersection, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new configuration and markings.
And to the City staff who have made this possible, thanks so much for the improvements! I’m eager to hear how this changes the data for this intersection.