News Oct 12, 2016 at 4:00 am

It’s Been Squaring Off With Activists At a Southeast Portland Intersection


“Drivers do not always respect marked crosswalks,” says Steve Novick, the city’s transportation commissioner. “They can create a false sense of security and lead to more crashes.”

...but they respected unmarked intersections more..? We should therefore remove all marked crosswalks because they lead to more crashes? What the hell are you talking about, Mr. Novick?

Presuming a driver will stop for you is *always* risky, but this statement seems kinda nuts.

Speaking as someone who primarily drives, I definitely notice when there's a crosswalk present. I am watchful of anyone who looks like they're trying to cross, but having a marked area increases visibility. Signs help more, and a flashing light helps even more.

I can understand people getting irked about "adjusted" speed limit signs and cones in the roadway, but griping that someone's marking crosswalks given that "every intersection is a crosswalk" seems nonsensical.

Sok, unmarked crosswalks aren't about the driver. It's that cross walks lull pedestrians into a false sense of security and they pay less attention. Leaving some cross walks unmarked in certain locations with a certain traffic rate makes pedestrians more aware of their surroundings instead of just assuming cars will stop for them because the cross walk is marked.
Wouldn't that be an argument for removing all crosswalks, though? No pedestrian (or cyclist) should ever assume cars will stop for them.

I do get the point that there are some places which are safer to cross than others, yes. It just seems that you'd want to make the less-safe crossings more visible to drivers. (Or you'd want to retool the "every intersection is a crosswalk" idea into something more nuanced when you're dealing with marked vs. unmarked crosswalks.)

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