Monday, April 18, 2016

After Tragedy, Davidson Main Street crosswalks to be made safer by NCDOT

Pedestrian safety was a topic of discussion at last week's Davidson Town Board meeting.  The topic also came up briefly at the "Commissioner Chat" at the Egg this Monday.

In light of the fatal accident on Main Street a couple of weeks ago, Davidson is in need of some good news on this subject.  Fortunately, some may be on the way soon.

According to the town's Public Works Director, Doug Wright, NCDOT is looking at changing the signalling on the three crosswalks right in the town center.  They will be implementing something called a Leading Pedestrian Indicator or LPI at these intersections.

An LPI allows pedestrians to cross before autos receive the green light.  These are set depending on the width of the intersection, but usually last up to several seconds.

According to Wright, these will go into effect at the lights on "Main-South-Chairman Blake, Main-Concord, and Main-Griffith.  The town controls the signal at Beaty-Griffith, and we implemented the Leading Pedestrian Interval about a year ago."  (NCDOT controls the signals in the heart of downtown because they cross state controlled 115.)

The town plans to ask for a complete stop of traffic while pedestrians cross, but that may be too difficult to get through NCDOT.  Wright indicated however that NCDOT did appear to be moving quickly on the more limited LPI request.

While not perfect, something is definitely better than nothing in this situation.  Anything that makes Main Street safer will definitely be a welcome improvement.

As of last week, no date was available on when this would go into effect.

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