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Subtle differences make huge safety improvements|
2016-12-01 - Bardstown, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c). A Personal Note - Columbia will have heavy foot traffic down in town during Christmas in Columbia and in the days leading up to it. Pedestrian safety remains a serious issue. Linda and I were starting to cross from the Red Brick corner on the Public Square while out photographing the wonderful Postcard Village art.
As we were stepping into the faintly painted crosswalk - with the right of way - a semi-truck overshot the crosswalk and didn't stop until it reached the yield sign, temporarily blocking our crosswalk. The truck's ownership, painted on the sign, was an indication that it should have taken the bypass, where vehicles, not pedestrians and cyclists, have and should have top priority. The problem for pedestrians: The "Yield Sign" should be replaced with a "Stop Sign" before traffic crosses the crosswalk. And the crosswalk needs be be more boldly marked, as the crosswalk in the photo above in Bardstown is marked. Notice that the pedestrians had all made it safely across the street, and the traffic on Court Square there had stopped a safe distance from the crossing. The large amount of paint makes a psychological impact on drivers.
Downtown Safety is a human issue, but it is also a huge economic development issue. Bardstown's Downtown Commerce on November 26 was really brisk. Columbia's was not. It's an issue City Council and/or the KY Department of Highways should address.
To contrast this crossing with Columbia's, see: Is it or is it not safe to cross? Is it in fact a crosswalk?.
And, to quote Jennifer Nuntavong, speaking to the Adair County School Board in April of 2014 about safety at the Adair County Primary center and the need for more clearly marked crosswalks there and the low cost of the crosswalks, she noted, "They are just paint," she said. - EW
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