At Tuesday night’s membership meeting I learned that DDOT’s response to the MVSNA’s request for improved pedestrian safety along NY Ave. Below in the content from the meeting handout:
Increase walk time of signal across N.Y. Avenue at 5th Street NW from 20 to 45 seconds.
At this particular time, DDOT does not recommend this change for two primary reasons.
DDOT is concerned that changing the walk time at this intersection may negatively impact pedestrian safety at this intersection further, in addition to negatively affecting traffic flow. We would like to share these two impacts with you.
Signal and pedestrian timing at this intersection is set as a standardized actuated signal, which is in agreement with the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Further this standard is consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The MUTCD is the national standard for traffic signals and other infrastructure matters. In following these standards, the signal is designed to display visible countdown time only during the “do not walk” flashing time. Therefore the viewable walk time on this signal is only 20 seconds. The total time for pedestrians to cross however is 30 seconds. The breakdown for the signal’s walk time is as follows:
5 seconds of walk time as background time (not seen)
3 seconds of yellow as background time (not seen)
2 seconds of red signal as background time (not seen)
20 seconds of visible walk time (viewable)
Although ten seconds are unseen, 20 seconds are still present for pedestrians to cross. Thirty full seconds are documented as walk time in this signal.
If the signal is changed, even in a small increment, the total cycle of signal length of the entire intersection will be altered and the allowable green time for traffic will be reduced. This could result in additional traffic delays further along New York Avenue. An overflow of traffic may adversely affect pedestrian safety as gridlocked traffic could occur through the intersections and crosswalks.
For the remainder of DDOT’s responses to MVSNA recommendations please visit Cary Silverman’s MVSNA posting.