Signs of Crooked Pedestrian Priorities


A pedestrian crossing sign slants over the middle of Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn, meant to remind drivers that human beings may try to cross the seven lanes of moving traffic on foot.  It is little comfort to the pedestrians standing exposed on the 2 foot wide median noticing that the sign was recently run into.

For the pedestrians that are not forced to walk in the street on Canal Street, many are forced to duck out of the way of the pedestrian warning sign that for years has been leaning away from the view of the drivers it is meant to inform. 

Of course, on Queens Boulevard (and in many locations where DOT faces a pattern of pedestrian safety problems), there are no signs asking drivers to watch for people walking and the prominent signage is more direct in putting all of the responsibility and the fear into the hearts of pedestrians.  "A pedestrian was killed crossing here.  Be alert, cross with care."

Perhaps the NYC DOT Signs and Markings division could take some inspiration from Metuchen, NJ, and the Automobile Association of America (the core of the automobile lobby) where they have together taken the initiaitve to sponsor a full banner to enforce priority for pedestrians.

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