Pedestrians in DC Given Additional Time to Cross the Road in 270 Locations
WASHINGTON D.C.- Transportation officials in Washington D.C. are working to make the roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists, according to DC.CURBED.com. Recently, officials reprogrammed 270 of the city's traffic signals in order to give more time to people crossing the road.*
Where the traffic signals were re-programmed, pedestrians are given a head-start ahead of adjacent drivers and the city is calling these head-starts,
"leading pedestrian intervals." Based on research, these intervals reduce the likelihood of accidents at intersections by improving visibility.
The targeted signals are located in the Northwest part of the city. In total, 655 signals will be reprogrammed in this zone. Last year traffic officials targeted 93 signals in Southwest and Navy Yard.
The changes are part of D.C.'s Vision Zero program, which is working to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious traffic injuries by the year 2024. According to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), reprogramming the lights is one useful tool that the city can utilize to help reach its goal. This change is also an inexpensive solution to a traffic problem. Vision Zero initiatives also include engineering projects that are often quite costly, and finding inexpensive ways to help achieve safer roadways helps lower the program's budget.
The city has plans to add pre-timed crossings in ninety-eight percent of the downtown intersections during times where may pedestrians are on the road. This means that pedestrians will not have to push a button in order to get a walk signal to appear.
Additionally, the city will adjust the timing on traffic signals in some areas during the later hours in the day in an effort to discourage speeding and improve bicycle mobility. Faster moving vehicles present severe risks to pedestrians and cyclists. City leaders are also considering changing specific traffic laws as another possible way to lower the number of traffic-related injuries and deaths and advance the goals of Vision Zero.
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