The city has made a decision, and it’s to give pedestrians priority over drivers at two intersections along Las Olas Boulevard. According to the Sun Sentinel, there is a new crossing system to let an all-red cycle at both Southeast Eighth and Ninth avenues. What this means is that when a traffic light turns red, motorists are required to stop in all directions to allow pedestrians to cross.
This system was first used in Broward County, and after seeing its success it’s here to stay and will be expanded to other areas. That’s why state officials put in a similar crossing system at State Road A1A and Commercial Boulevard over the summer. Although it only operated on weekends, it was deemed highly successful. And that’s why officials want to expand the system.
Our Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorneys understand that both A1A and Las Olas, as well as Andrews Avenue and Broward Boulevard may soon be getting this same system. In these areas, pedestrian traffic is dense and we see far too many accidents. Unfortunately, since vehicular traffic is so dense in many areas, the stop system may not be effective for the flow of traffic.
The all-red cycle prohibits vehicles from turning right on red. They’re not allowed to proceed even if no one is in the area and the crosswalks are vacant.
While pedestrians and bicyclists are safer, many drivers are voicing their concerns, saying that this system is going to hold up traffic. They’re especially concerned with the early-morning rush hour, when commuters pour into the area.
Officials are still tweaking the time and locations of these systems to make sure they’re a benefit for everyone.
These intersections will also be modified so that pedestrians will be able to cross diagonally when the cycle is active.
There’s no arguing that something needs to be done to help to protect our more vulnerable travelers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), close to 4,500 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2011, proving a near 5 percent increase from the year before. In addition, there were another 70,000 injured in these same instances. And the state of Florida ranks once again as one of the most dangerous in the country — tallying close to 500 pedestrian fatalities in 2011 alone.
Drivers need to be aware of both pedestrian and bicycle traffic along our roadways. Being located along a beautiful coastline, there’s no wonder why we get so much traffic. It’s critical that we all travel harmoniously. Keep an eye out for oncoming traffic and make sure you’re aware of your surroundings at all times. Hazards and other travelers can seemingly pop out of nowhere. Make sure you’re alert and ready for anything.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
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