Mayor Carlo DeMaria announced this week that work has begun to install a new raised crosswalk on Tremont Street as part of a Safe Routes to School grant. In addition, work also has begun on installing an entrance corridor along the Northern Strand Community Trail to the Madeline English School.
The purpose of the raised crosswalk is to slow traffic and also to emphasize the right-of-way of pedestrians. These styles of crosswalks are typically installed on local streets where traffic speeds are intended to be low, where there are a large number of pedestrians or there are a large proportion of vulnerable users such as children or elderly.
Raised crosswalks have been growing in popularity in recent years as an effective means of traffic calming, particularly around schools and in residential areas. The City identified this location during this year’s roadway reconstruction program.
“We all want to encourage more kids to walk and bike to school. In order to do this kids must feel safe and be safe,” states Mayor DeMaria, “By installing more crosswalks and raised intersections of this design in the coming years we will calm traffic and make our streets much more welcoming to bicycles and pedestrians. My first priority is in areas around schools and parks and then residential neighborhoods.”
The design speed for vehicles around raised crosswalks is approximately 15 miles per hour. Vehicle speeds prior to installing the crosswalk were frequently 30 miles per hour and above in the school zone with children present.
In the coming months, the City hopes to start a program that will allow residents to give input on where traffic calming is most needed. This will be based on similar programs in neighboring cities and towns that have a formal process for neighborhoods to petition the City’s transportation department to study and implement various traffic-calming measures.