The City of Boulder will not improve the non-lit crosswalks near Williams Village until after flashing crosswalks already in use are reviewed.
Bill Cowern, transportation operations engineer for the City of Boulder, said that there are currently 16 LED-lit flashing crosswalks in Boulder, including some on Broadway and some near Pearl Street.
Cowern said that the city considers placing flashing crosswalks on roads with multiple lanes and heavy pedestrian traffic.
“In a multi-lane road, the sight of a car pulling up is blocked by a car already stopped for a pedestrian.” Cowern said. “The lighted crosswalks give the second car warning.”
Some crosswalks in Boulder, such as the ones near Will Vill, do not have LED lights in use. Cowern said that the city considers Will Vill a high priority, but is evaluating the crosswalks already in use first.
“We have many other multi-laned roads where we want to add something,” Cowern said. “We are evaluating the one we have now. I can’t say that we will add a flashing-crosswalk exactly, but it is our intention to put something more in the Williams Village location.”
Many CU students already use flashing crosswalks to move between Broadway and the Hill.
Eric Kean, a 20-year-old junior music education major, said that he approves of the flashing crosswalks, as both a driver and pedestrian.
“They are practical and efficient,” Kean said. “Way better than stoplights.”
Cowern said that the city added the crosswalks on Broadway to deal with a high amount of pedestrians and daytime bumper-to-bumper traffic.
“In the Broadway crosswalks, prior to putting in the flashing lights, there was little driver compliance to stop for pedestrians,” Cowern said. “Pedestrians had to wait for gaps in traffic to cross.”
After the flashing crosswalks were added to Broadway, Cowern said the accident rate in that area increased.
“Anytime you introduce a new condition where traffic now stops and wasn’t stopping before, the accident rate will rise.” Corwern said. “It’s a combination of bad judgment on the part of drivers and pedestrians.”
Jacqui Phenicie, a 21-year-old senior psychology major, said she uses the crosswalks as a pedestrian and a driver and thinks that pedestrians sometimes use the crosswalks irresponsibly.
“Some kids take advantage of them,” Phenicie said. “When I drive I see people barely press the button and start to walk.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lindsay Mullineaux at Lindsay.email@example.com.