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How You Can Tell Your City Doesn’t Care About Pedestrians

If you live in a town that doesn't consider pedestrian safety a very high priority, the signs are probably pretty obvious if you spend any time walking.

Construction on this crosswalk project in Clovis, California, began more than two years ago. The crossing button still hasn't been uncovered. Photo: Stop and Move
More than two years after this crosswalk project began, the button that pedestrians have to push to activate was still covered with tape. Note the stop sign for pedestrians warning that "cross traffic does not stop." Photo: Stop and Move
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James Sinclair feels like he's being beat over the head with signs -- sometimes actual, literal signs -- in the Fresno suburb of Clovis, California. He writes on Stop and Move:

How can you tell that a city prioritizes vehicles over pedestrians? Clovis might be revealing their hand with this absurd level of incompetence.

In the past two years, they've added well over ten miles of lanes in widened roads, installed and began operating multiple new stop lights, and resurfaced various streets.

And yet they can't quite finish a single crosswalk that connects an elementary school, a church, and two residential neighborhoods. I guess the safety of children is no one near as important as adding new lanes in rarely used places.

You might remember back in April of 2012, when I looked at the slow construction. A year ago, in June of 2013, I went back and saw that the safety component of the project -- the lights embedded in the pavement -- had still not been activated.

Here we are in June of 2014 and it's still not done.

To add insult to injury, while the other four crosswalks with lighting in Clovis are automated, this one requires pushing a button, which has never been uncovered.

Got a story like that from your city? Tell us about it in the comments.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Dallas Morning News' Transportation Blog discusses the tension in balancing regional and local concerns for transportation projects. Commute by Bike sympathizes with cyclists who break the rules. And Vibrant Bay Area considers what street grid patterns tell us about a city's history.

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