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This simple change cuts in half the number of pedestrians hit by vehicles: study

Pilot project gives walkers the green light a several seconds before drivers
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The city's operations committee will consider next week extending a pilot project aimed at improving pedestrian safety at intersections in Greater Sudbury.

Called the “leading pedestrian interval policy,” or LPI, the pilot project was set up at the corner of Notre Dame Avenue and Kathleen Street in March. To give pedestrians a bit more time, the “walk” light appears several seconds before the light turns green for drivers. So they have a bit of time to cross when the lights for vehicle traffic are still red in every direction.

“By giving pedestrians a head start, this allows pedestrians to establish the right-of-way, which increases the visibility of pedestrians to motorists, and thereby reduces potential conflicts with turning vehicles,” a staff report on the project said.

U.S. studies have shown that pedestrian/vehicle conflicts at intersections with LPIs can drop by as much as 45 per cent.

In the Notre Dame/Kathleen pilot project, such conflicts were reduced by 41 per cent during morning rush hour traffic, and by 25 per cent at the midday and evening rush hour periods.

As a result, the operations committee is being asked to extend the project to four other intersections: Brady Street at Minto Street; Notre Dame Avenue at King Street; Notre Dame Avenue at Ste. Anne Road/Louis Street; and, Notre Dame Avenue at Wilma Street.

“While there is no one measure that could be implemented which could eliminate all pedestrian collisions, the city strives to use a variety of countermeasures to target specific issues,” the report said. “Greater Sudbury has implemented many new pedestrian safety initiatives, such as pedestrian crossovers, pedestrian countdown signals, painted zebra crosswalks, pedestrian refuge island, etc. over the past number of years and is committed to researching and implementing new safety initiatives as they become available.”
 
If approved, a communications plan will be rolled out to ensure the public knows about the change.
 
“Staff will further update the city’s website to provide information about how an LPI works to educate all road users on their proper use and where they are located,” the report said.

The committee meeting is set for Jan. 15. Read the full report here.




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