In Boulder, Colorado, they have 'recalled' dangerous highway-style slip turn lanes to slow traffic and make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists to cross.
By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published April 09, 2014
In Boulder, Colorado, this is how they have "recalled" dangerous highway-style slip turn lanes to slow traffic and make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists to cross:
Slip turn lane in Boulder, Colorado (Image Credit: Google Street View)
All such intersections are designed this way in the area around the University of Colorado Boulder.
Some features to note:
Two unambiguous standard "yield" signs for motorists.
Two fluorescent yellow "2-way crossing" signs for motorists that reinforce the need to watch for crossing pedestrians and cyclists on this multi-use path, just in case the yield signs aren't enough.
A level crossing for pedestrians, which is a speed hump for motorists.
Note that the signage is directed entirely to reminding motorists of their duty to yield and slow down, and then making it physically difficult to turn quickly.
Apparently, Ontario regulations now allow yield-to-crossing-pedestrians signs at such slip exit/entries. This would be a good way of implementing them, for example at Queen and Aberdeen or the quasi-slip exit at Queen and Main.
Highway-style slip turn lane at Queen and Aberdeen (RTH file photo)
Boulder also has zebra crossings at normal intersections, and a sort of "courtesy" crossing at uncontrolled intersections on arteries with cheap flashing yellow LED lights and a vocal warning for pedestrians that "motorists may not stop", but also signs telling motorists that they should stop when the lights are flashing.
Zebra crossing and yield signs in Boulder, Colorado (Image Credit: Google Street View)
Note again that the signs to motorists are unambiguous: "State Law: yield to pedestrians in crosswalk". The vocal warning would not confuse motorists and there is a refuge in the median for crossing pedestrians.
Contrast this approach with the "Caution - Vehicles Not Required to Stop" signage Hamilton Public Works staff proposed for Hamilton's "courtesy" pedestrian crossings!
How could Hamilton even suggest such a dangerous passive-aggressive "solution" as to have no signs to tell motorists they must yield to crossing pedestrians, but signs to pedestrians that are visible to motorists, essentially saying that motorists don't have to yield - which isn't even true?
Hamilton drivers seem to have forgotten that they must yield to crossing pedestrians. Almost everyone has forgotten about their responsibilities at uncontrolled intersections, but as Andrew Dreschel's recent column in the Spectator notes, many motorists don't even think they need to yield to pedestrians at controlled intersections.
Hamilton could have the same signs at its courtesy crossings as Boulder has: "Provincial Law: motorists must yield to crossing pedestrians".
That is, after all, what the Highway Traffic Act says. Once a pedestrian begins to cross, motorists must yield.
Adding clear reminders at such crossings would be a good way to start changing driver behaviour to be consistent with the law.
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