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Flashing beacons will improve safety at crosswalk

December 3, 2011
By DAVE WERNER ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Newly installed flashing beacons on a mast arm over the crosswalk at the intersection of West Main Street (U.S. Route 11) and Webster Street in the village of Malone will vastly improve the ability to cross busy West Main Street safely.

There have been several incidents of vehicles hitting pedestrians at this crosswalk, which traverses four lanes of traffic. Motorists have had difficulty seeing pedestrians crossing at this location because of other vehicles, often large trucks, obscuring visibility.

The new flashing beacons will be activated by a pedestrian push button located at both ends of the crosswalk. Using federal standards for crossing four lanes of traffic, when a pedestrian pushes the button, amber beacons, located on a mast arm over the driving lanes, will flash for about 18 seconds. This will give a pedestrian ample time to cross the street. With this installation, there will no longer be any excuse for motorists not to be aware of a pedestrian in this crosswalk.

The flashing beacons will be supplemented by signs on the mast arm, one facing each direction, which says: "State Law - Yield to Pedestrians."

Also, pedestrians will see a simultaneously flashing yellow beacon facing the person(s) crossing so they will know that the beacons over the street are also flashing.

Further safety enhancements to this crosswalk will include signs on both sides of W. Main St. just prior to the crosswalk which will state "Yield Here to Pedestrians." A final enhancement, which may not be completed until spring depending on weather, is the installation of "yield lines." These pavement markings, referred to as "shark's teeth" by traffic engineers, are a series of white triangles located at the point where motorists must stop when yielding to pedestrians.

After the new installation is activated, likely sometime this week, the safety of pedestrians crossing at this crosswalk should be greatly enhanced. State Department of Transportation, as well as the Franklin County Traffic Safety Board, will continue to monitor the performance of this installation. If necessary, appropriate modifications will be made to further enhance pedestrian crossing safety.

To access the more than 200 "Did You Know" articles and more information on vehicle and traffic law and traffic safety, go the Franklin County Traffic Safety Board's website at and click on the Traffic Safety Board under departments.



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