Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are Right Turns On Red Dangerous For Pedestrians?

My office is at the corner of Sprague and Bernard. Most days I ride the bus to work, so I have to get back to the bus stop at the end of the day. That requires crossing Sprague headed northbound. Four out of five days, someone nearly runs me over when I'm attempting to do this, then yells at me. This is because, when the light is red at that corner, drivers can take a free right turn after stopping. The light changes to red, I look for the 'walk' sign to go, then generally am almost creamed by someone who either didn't stop or merely paused at the red before taking their free turn, then yells at me for having the audacity to walk when the light tells me to.

I mention this because the topic of the Where the Sidewalk Starts blog today is how dangerous right turn on red are for pedestrians. Sentiment lately seems to be that they're not dangerous, but some research shows otherwise.


Charles said...

Yes and sometimes left turns also, check out the crosswalk in front of the downtown library, and you will see a lot of near misses daily. I try not to use it, but the post office is so handy when you are at the library.

SRTC Staff said...

It's funny you mention that intersection @Charles because I was literally JUST there and watched a really slow old man try to cross in the cross walk. The cars waiting to turn left were so impatient they were biting at his heels!

Charles said...

I was there yesterday and watched a lady crossing while the cars went both in front and back of her.

Anonymous said...

The trouble is that Driver's never pay attention to the crosswalks, even the ones with walk signs. I cross at Monroe and Boone everyday to get to the bus stop and have had too many near misses, and that is right near the Courthouse at times when City police are changing shifts! Too bad they don't do a few emphasis patrols on driver's who don't yeild to pedestrians in crosswalks. I thought they did this in the Valley a few years ago to some success.

SRTC Staff said...

Spokane Police also do failure to yield to pedestrian emphasis patrols. They usually do it once a year, usually around the time schools starts, and pick two or three areas to do patrols in over a couple days. And yes, it always nets lots of people, many who just weren't aware of what the laws are when it comes to yielding to pedestrians. It would be nice if they could do more but law enforcement is in the same boat as the rest of us government agencies; no funding and fewer resources.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.