Thursday, March 17, 2011

Federal Way unveils pedestrian safety pilot program

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2011


MEDIA CONTACTS
Brian Wilson
Police Chief
253-835-6711


Cary Roe
Public Works and Parks Director
253-835-6910

Federal Way unveils pedestrian safety pilot program

Can signs and reflectors increase pedestrian safety at busy intersections? The City Of Federal Way is set to find out with a pilot program “Stop Here on Red” reminding drivers to make complete stops at red light right-hand turns.

“We know that our busiest intersections carry an increased risk for pedestrians,” said Police Chief Brian Wilson. Between 2002 and 2008, there were 290 accidents in the city involving cars striking pedestrians. Six of those resulted in fatalities. “We’re hoping that by reminding drivers they need to make a full stop and look first, we can make our streets safer for pedestrians.”

Public Works crews began installing the first of several “Stop Here on Red” signs on Pacific Highway at S. 324th and S. 316th Thursday morning. The signs point to the stop line, where drivers are supposed to make a full stop on red lights, and check for pedestrians before proceeding with a right-hand turn.

Additional signs will be installed at Pacific Highway intersections at S. 312th and S. 320th, as well as at S. 348th and Enchanted Parkway. Crews will also install reflective raised pavement markers at several intersections to further highlight the stop line. The pavement marker installation is dependent on weather conditions. The total cost for installing the signs and markers will be approximately $9,000.

“Changing driver behavior at right-hand turns is one of the most important things we can do to make our crosswalks safer,” said Public Works and Parks Director Cary Roe. “We think this could be a relatively inexpensive investment that will save lives and prevent serious injury.”

City staff will evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program for six months. Based on the results, city officials will consider expanding the pilot program to other busy intersections.

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