There are numerous improvements that are part of the plan for pedestrian safety.
Several crosswalks which are presently unsignaled and therefore difficult to cross in traffic will become HAWK Crosswalks. This will give pedestrians who want to cross there an on-demand ability to do so safely.
The HAWK Signal (short for High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk) is a system that allows a pedestrian intending to cross at a supported crosswalk to activate an on-demand red light. The HAWK beacon was first developed and deployed in Arizona and provides a middle ground between a full red light and traditional unsignaled, marked crosswalks.
The way a HAWK works is that the pedestrian activates the HAWK, which begins with a blinking yellow to capture vehicle attention, progressing to a solid red light stopping traffic in both directions, and then a blinking red light that enables vehicles to begin moving if all pedestrians are through. This enables more fluid use of the infrastructure for both pedestrians and cars versus traditional stop lights.
Traffic calming is a combination of measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior, and improve conditions for non-motorized street users, by leveraging infrastructure changes like narrower lanes, lower speed limits, raised intersections, etc. For Conn. Avenue, a combination of removing the reversible lane and lowering the speed limit and adding dedicated turn lane infrastructure for cars will reduce the number of accidents and lane changes necessary to navigate the corridor.
Part of the existing DDOT plan is to move existing bus stops from "Near Side" to "Far Side" of the intersections. A Near Side stop is when the stop is located right before an intersection, where a Far Side stop is located right after an intersection. Near Side stops often impede the ability of the bus to pull completely horizontal to the curb and can result in difficulty for the bus to rejoin the traffic lane once done loading. A far side stop allows the bus to merge right in the intersection, increasing the ability of the bus to pull directly into the stop and not stopping up traffic at the intersection if sticking out into the travel lane.
The addition of the cycling track can be a problem for bus users, particularly those with disabilities. However, deliberate design can mitigate this impact. Examples of design considerations that we have raised to DDOT for their consideration include:
How did Arizona first invent HAWK signals and how do they benefit pedestrians?
See this video on urban commuting and the impact of road diets.
Deliberate design of bus stops and the cycle track can help reduce conflicts between pedestrians crossing to use the bus network
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