One of the most insidious ways our transportation infrastructure is designed to delay or harm people walking is mostly invisible: Traffic signals programmed to skip the walk signal unless someone pushes a button. Whenever a traffic signal skips a walk signal, anyone who shows up is faced with the choice to either wait an entire signal cycle or make a run for it without knowing whether there is enough time to get across. It’s a dangerous and completely avoidable situation. All it takes is for SDOT staff to change programming.
A few years back, the local #GivePedsTheGreen campaign tried to raise awareness of this problem. And though that did not result in a major signal reprogramming effort, it did lead to more people paying attention. Once you start looking for it, you see it everywhere.
Now Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has started an effort to get people to report signals that require a button push, take too long to change or don’t give enough crossing time to the city as part of the Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets program. This program funds relatively small community-generated project ideas to improve their local parks and streets. And it’s hard to think of anything smaller than a signal programming change. So is there a signal you encounter regularly that skips you or takes so long that people decide to run for it rather than wait? Report it!
More details from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways:
It’s time to fix traffic signals that…
- Don’t give you enough time to cross the street safely
- Take forever to give you a walk light to cross
- Make you push a beg button to get a walk light
Tell the Seattle Department Of Transportation which signals don’t work for you, your family, and your community.
With your help we can report every problematic signal to the City by the March 18th deadline for the Your Voice Your Choice program. This program will not be able to fix all the signals, but Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will track every signal that is reported and keep advocating that the city fix them.
2.Click the X. Click Pedestrian Crossing. Click “submit your idea!”
3.Pick the problematic intersection on the map or type in the address. Describe what’s wrong. For example: “People get stranded in the crosswalk when the light changes,” “it takes too long to get the walk light,” or “this intersection requires me to push a beg button”.
4.Click “report it.”