Tragedy struck again on December 22, as a so-far unidentified 83-year-old woman was killed by a driver crossing Washington Avenue before dawn. Early reports have yielded few details but we will update this post as information comes in.
Washington Ave is a four lane road that with a center turn lane that serves as a parking/loading area in the center of the street. For several years now City Officials have been proposing a redesign of Washington Avenue to make it safer and improve its functionality but there has been no consensus between the City, councilmembers, business owners and residents on a final design.
The Bicycle Coalition has proposed improving the bike lanes and replacing the center lane with a 4-6 foot buffer zone.
With the exception of Broad St these intersections are one-way streets. Therefore the center turn lane is only necessary on one side of the street. The other side of the street would include a pedestrian refuge in the buffer zone area. Where possible bike lane separation can be enhanced with delineator posts.
The bike lanes and pedestrian will shorten the total distance that pedestrians will need to cross, encourage people to cross at intersections and force motorists to make sharper left turns at the intersections.
It’s time to bring the stakeholders back to the table and make Washington Avenue a safer (and more attractive) for all road users.
There will also be an action on December 26 during rush hour at 24th and Washington Avenue to bring more attention to this issue. Look for more information on social media about this.