My previous post was about a school crossing in a quiet residential area. Lets step up to the high stakes table where the big boys play.
It's called State Road 84 West. It has a very theoretical speed limit of 45mph. It's actually the off ramp from I-95, and the Florida Turnpike coming from urban Miami Dade County into the sprawling suburbs of west Broward County. It used to get gridlocked at the first traffic light, but they created a through lane that doesn't stop except when the rarely used pedestrian crossing is activated .
That's where I come in. Walled of from the highway is a Greenway that connects the Town of Davie to Ft. lauderdale. It does nothing else. It by passes all other roads and neighborhoods along the way.
It is also the ONLY connection that doesn't involve riding on high speed highways with no bike lanes. It bypasses a very busy cloverleaf in State Road 84. It's almost unkown, and therefore unused. A few joggers, and dog walkers that live at the east end of it and that's about it.
When they put in the through lane they added a warning light 100yards down the road that says "Prepare To Stop' when the crosswalk is activated. All this did was get the already speeding drivers to drive faster to make the light. Usually 3 people would run the crosswalk before anyone stopped, all of them accelerating. When driving my car one day I took a look at this from the drivers perspective. DOT had not bothered to put any "Pedestian Crossing" signs along the road. That and the hidden Greenway explains why the drivers "saw" no reason to stop.
So I brought this to the attention of the DOT. After lengthy investigation, they decided that yes signage would be a good idea and 4 months later as if by magic 2 signs appeared. One near the "Prepare To Stop" sign was a Pedestrian placard and the word AHEAD added below. Then AT the crosswalk there was another placard with a big arrow pointing down at the crosswalk. They are both behind the concrete wall where the drivers can't get at them.
Now it's time to test the new signage. I was riding back at early evening and stopped at the crosswalk. Hit the button, and turned on my Niterider daytime strobe light and aimed it at the painted crosswalk. So we have a flashing" Light Prepare to Stop", then a Ped Xing AHEAD sign, Then another Ped XING Here sign, and a painted crosswalk rapidly strobing in the dark.
Holy shit! It worked! For the first time ever someone stopped for the red traffic light there. Of course this is Florida so it can't be that simple.
Cars #2, and #3 were still accelerating to make the light. This would be a much better story back in the days before Antilock Brakes. But they both ended up crossed up in the emergency lane to avoid hitting the stopped SUV, and each other. Of course they were blowing their horns at the driver who stopped for the pedestrian crossing. SoFla road rage at it's finest.