In for a penny, in for a pound, wot? Not only have rebellious Americans been asked to learn the ins and outs and round and rounds of a local roundabout in Lafayette, but now pedestrians hoping to make it through the intersection at Olympic Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road are being asked to further announce their presence to drivers by carrying a bright red signal flag when in the zebra… er, roundabout’s crosswalk.
Sustainable Lafayette noted the distinctly English approach to pedestrian safety on Twitter today and their photos were too good to pass up.
First Local to send us a picture of themselves using the flag, or with a flag of their own design (Don’t Tread Over Me?) gets a FREE and highly valued NEWS24/680 News Cap!
I want an airbag suit.
On my way down there now
Maybe they should change out the traffic circle for a three way stop if its so dangerous. But in all seriousness…they use those flags in Rossmoor at all the busy intersections. Is our demo getting that old in Lafayette?
I’m bringing my own flag.
Maybe they can use one of the flags to mark your grave after you are run down by a Tahoe or Suburban.
All modern roundabouts have median islands separating incoming and outgoing auto traffic. Pedestrians don’t have to find a gap in two directions of traffic, just one. This is safer for pedestrians, especially for younger or older ones, because they only need to concentrate on one direction of traffic at a time. This is what is meant by two-phase. Cross the first half, pause if you need to, then cross the second half. With the lower design speed of 15-20 mph, roundabout medians become very safe places to cross. It’s estimated that median refuges for pedestrians reduce crashes by 25% or better.
On multi-lane crossings pedestrian beacons or signals are often added if the auto (or pedestrian) traffic is too numerous. The signals can also be two phase, requiring the pedestrian to push a second button when they get to the median. The median can also have a Z path to reorient the pedestrian to view oncoming traffic. Also, the signals usually rest in off, so they are only activated if a pedestrian needs the help crossing. This way only motorists that need to stop are delayed.
Pedestrians using roundabouts:
In Fort Worth, TX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6yYJYgdNTA
Lake County video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivy5vNqe85o
Clearwater, FL, check at 1 minute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIwsAb1lHKo
Springfield, OR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHEMbIzswKA
Kitchener, ON: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E3LNqge9ps
Michigan State: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNxy3LIlhgQ
Howdy, Scott… thanks for this! We appreciate the info…
Well, that is just science and logic. We reject that. But I do wonder why the flags are Bolshevik in color? Hmmm?
Man…we couldn’t make it more complicated to walk across a street if we tried. I’m sure everyone has seen the dozens of signs on that roundabout. Way too much distraction. And we still need flags to walk across the street even though its safer? We never needed flags before. But I know pedestrian safety was not the primary issue for the roundabout…it was traffic flow.
We could ask drivers to look through that front window of the vehicle more often…the one that reveals what’s in front of them…that would make us all safer. We could make a law giving pedestrians priority when crossing the street. Nah! That would be silly. Give ’em flags and hope for the best.