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Improved crosswalk signing coming to US-31 (Grandview Parkway) in Traverse City

by Missy Luick
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              WEDNESDAY, JUNE 28, 2017

 

CONTACT: James Lake, MDOT Office of Communications, 906-250-0993,                   lakej1@michigan.gov

 

Improved crosswalk signing coming to US-31 (Grandview Parkway) in Traverse City

 

Safety benefits:

- Installation of additional signs at crosswalks without signals helps increase awareness for the safety of pedestrians and motorists.

June 28, 2017 -- It can sometimes be confusing whether pedestrians or motor vehicles have the right of way. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the city of Traverse City are working together to make it more clear at three crossings without signals on US-31 (Grandview Parkway).

            In cooperation with the city, MDOT's Traverse City Transportation Service Center (TSC) staff will be installing enhanced signs today and tomorrow for both pedestrians and drivers at three locations along Grandview Parkway: Elmwood Avenue, Oak Street, and Hall Street. There will be a combination of signs urging pedestrians to wait for safe gaps in traffic to cross and reminding drivers of their responsibility to yield to pedestrians already in the crosswalk.

            "Drivers and pedestrians both have a responsibility for safety at crosswalks," said Rick Liptak, manager of MDOT's Traverse City TSC. "While vehicles need to yield for pedestrians already in the roadway within a crosswalk, pedestrians must make sure they have a safe gap in traffic before stepping into the road."

            At all three locations, the current yellow signs with a pedestrian silhouette will be replaced with signs including a red "yield" sign, an arrow, and pedestrian silhouette. They will be complemented by yellow signs posted at street level reminding drivers to yield to pedestrians within the crosswalk. For pedestrians, there will be signs advising them to "Look – Wait for a safe gap in traffic – Cross road with caution." This combination of signs will more closely match those the city uses on local streets, providing more consistency for pedestrians and drivers in the area.

            "The work is part of the collaborative effort between the City of Traverse City and MDOT to improve the visibility of crossings that are used to connect the community to the waterfront," said Traverse City Engineer Tim Lodge. "The work will change the context of the crossings to an urban setting that will help define driver and pedestrian expectations in this heavily traveled corridor."

            Michigan's Uniform Traffic Code (UTC) explains the responsibilities of motorists and pedestrians at non-signalized crossings: "When traffic-control signals are not in place or are not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger, but a pedestrian shall not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into a path of a vehicle that is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield."

            "We'd much rather focus on preventing crashes involving pedestrians than who would be responsible or who had the right of way if the worst occurs," Liptak said. "Increased awareness and concern will go a long way to keeping everyone safe at these crossings."

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Download MDOT's Mi Drive traffic information app: www.michigan.gov/drive