Today the City Auditor presented the results of the crosswalk audit to City Council, and I am pleased to see that the report recognizes the crosswalk program is effectively managed.
The Traffic Safety Office, under Parks and Roads, is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of an effective pedestrian crosswalk program. The objective for this audit was to ensure that the pedestrian crosswalk program is managed effectively, and the City Auditor concluded that the pedestrian crosswalk program is being effectively managed and improving pedestrian safety.
While the City Auditor confirmed the program is well-managed and improving pedestrian safety, it offered four recommendations to improve the program’s overall effectiveness.
The City has already made steps to implement the auditors’ suggestions and recommendations including:
- As of May 26, the City started increasing the width of all parallel (standard) pedestrian crosswalk lines to 20 cm in width from the previous standard of 10 cm. The wider line will be used at:
- new crosswalk installations
- regular scheduled maintenance of existing crosswalks
- and replacement of existing crosswalks after repaving and rehabilitation
- 20 cm white lines have already been painted along decorative brick crosswalks at three intersections on 118 Ave ( 81 St., 88 St., and 95A St.) and more are in the works.
In addition, based on data, the City created a pedestrian-crossing signals priority list for 2017 and 2018 based on evaluating hundreds of pedestrian crossings.
These crosswalk upgrades are about making crossings safer for pedestrians. However, it is also important to note that crosswalks do not protect pedestrians from careless drivers, so it is important for drivers to watch for pedestrians and pedestrians to watch for careless drivers.
More information on pedestrian crossings can be found here.
Ultimately, it is going to take all of us. Engineering improvements, pedestrian awareness, and driver behavior… each element is important. Our goal is Vision Zero, but it is going to everybody.