We must try new ways to make Third and Main safer

Published 1:23 pm Wednesday, November 13, 2019

I am still shocked and grieving at the death of Sue Cleveland, the pedestrian who was hit crossing Main Street a couple of weeks ago. As has been reported, another pedestrian was recently hit at that same intersection, Main Street at Third in downtown Danville.
This intersection has had multiple occasions of pedestrian injuries and deaths over the years. It has been stated that not much else can be done to make that intersection safer, that we are an impatient society and lack of attention is the problem. It is undoubtedly true that people, drivers and pedestrians, are inattentive. But, when one specific intersection is the site of multiple pedestrian-automobile accidents, we have to think again of ways to improve safely. Think outside the box!
Two things come to mind for me. Perhaps all cars could be stopped at the same time so that pedestrians can cross in all directions, even diagonally. Another option would be flashing amber lights that turn on when a person is in the crosswalk. These are in existence in some cities and are called Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons. They serve as an extra alert to drivers to be aware of their surroundings.
Perhaps these could be activated by a button the pedestrian hits as they enter the crosswalk. (This technology is used in some cities to allow people to cross between intersections.) I don’t know if these are the best ideas, but I do know we must try new ways to improve safety at this busy intersection.

Katie Bright

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