Roads: Why Everyone Needs to Pay More Attention
We all share the responsibility of keeping ourselves and others on the road safe.
“We teach kids to look left-right-left. It’s so elementary, but drivers and pedestrians need to pay more attention to each other,” says Chad Geiszler of the Wauwatosa Police Department.
In the past three years, there have been 47 motor vehicle incidents involving a pedestrian in Wauwatosa. They are never easy calls to respond to. We all share the responsibility of keeping ourselves and others on the road safe. The Police Department offers these reminders to drivers and pedestrians alike:
- Stay alert. Distractions are everywhere and becoming more and more difficult to avoid.
- Know and follow all traffic rules, signs, and signals. You need to be aware of the rules vehicles around you must follow to properly anticipate what people will do.
- It is state law to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Make every effort to make eye contact with a driver or pedestrian at crosswalks.
Designing streets for safety
Besides following and enforcing traffic rules, the City of Wauwatosa has made strides to increase pedestrian safety. Here are some recent street design projects that help drivers and pedestrians:
- Audible push button crosswalk accommodations at State and Wauwatosa Ave. This accommodation tells a vision impaired person who wants to cross the street when to “wait”, when the walk sign is “on”, and which street the walk sign is “on”.
- Rapid flashing beacons recently installed at Glenview/Gridley, Glenview/Portland, Glenview/Avon, 83rd/North, Center Street at Whitman Middle School, and 70th/Milwaukee. The flashing beacons are designed to direct motorist’s attention to the crosswalk.
- Raised roadway intersections were constructed as part of the Underwood project. One example intersection is Underwood and Warren. A raised intersection helps with traffic calming in forcing motorists to slow down as they approach and go through the intersection. A raised intersection also provides a flatter accessible slope for pedestrians crossing the street.
- Adding more audible push button crosswalks in the State Street corridor (east of Wauwatosa Ave). This is scheduled to be installed this year.
- Pedestrian signals and crosswalks at the intersection of Harwood and Harmonee are currently in the planning stages with the goal to be installed this summer.
- A fully accessible pedestrian crossing over the railroad and south of the intersection of 74th and State is planned to be open this summer. This will allow for greater pedestrian access from the Village area to Hart Park.