DELRAY BEACH: Crosswalk signs judged effective, will be used more places



By Margie Plunkett


Five more sets of crosswalk signs designed to safeguard pedestrians and educate drivers will be installed on A1A after a state study deemed test signs near
Atlantic Avenue effective.


The Florida Department of Transportation gave a thumbs up to Delray Beach’s request for the added signs, which are mounted on short plastic poles placed in the
center of A1A to instruct motorists to stop for pedestrians.


Crosswalk signs are also expected to be put up near Briny Breezes, just south of the St. Andrews Club, and in Highland Beach. They were posted in Ocean Ridge early in
March.


“It’s more educational to the motorist, to let them know it’s a state law,” said Carmen Li, FDOT senior engineer in training in Fort Lauderdale.


The FDOT study showed clear improvement of safety conditions for pedestrians after the Delray Beach test signs were placed, according to Li. “We got a lot of
positive feedback,” she said. “The motorists’ compliance — stopping for
pedestrians — improved and people felt more safe to cross between these signs.”


The evaluation indicated:


• Motorists have stopped for pedestrians 5.2 percent more.


• Drivers disregarding pedestrian crossings have been reduced by 28.6 percent.


• Mid-block pedestrian crossings have been reduced by 28.4 percent.


• Driver-pedestrian conflicts have been reduced by 25.9 percent.


Delray Beach City Engineer Randal L. Krejcarek anticipated the new signs would be up by mid-April.


“We’ve been asking for them for seven to eight years,” he said, but previously, the state didn’t recognize them as proper signs within the right of way.


The signs will cost up to a total $4,100, Krejcarek said. The cost will probably be less, because fewer signs will be posted than initially proposed, due to
conflicts with driveway locations, he said.


Each sign assembly has two panels, with some crossings suitable for one assembly and others for two, Li said. Location of driveways and side streets determines how
many assemblies can be used, she said. “They are recommended to go in
unsignalized crosswalks, most that are painted like a zebra.”


Jim Smith, chairman of Safety As Floridians Expect, was pleased with the news. “It’s really a good thing. Those signs have been a big help.”



New Crossing Signs



Signs telling motorists to stop for pedestrians will be placed in the center of A1A
at the following five Delray Beach
locations. Two sets of pilot signs are just north and south of
Atlantic
Avenue as well.


• Atlantic Dunes Park, just north of the crossing


• Casuarina Road, one set south of the crossing and a second set north of it.


• Beach Road, north of the crossing


• South Crestwood Drive



SOURCE:
Florida
Department of Transportation


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