Carlsbad Beach Crosswalks Get Safety Upgrade

by The Editors on April 11, 2012

Crosswalk2After numerous accidents and daily perilous close calls, the City of Carlsbad has finally committed to upgrading the crosswalks on Coast Highway (Carlsbad Blvd.) with medians and “high-visibility crosswalks.” This improvement has been a long time coming.

The project will improve pedestrian crosswalks at six locations along the scenic coastal roadway: Oak, Pine, Sycamore, Maple, Cherry and Hemlock avenues. . . . At five of these — Oak, Sycamore, Maple, Cherry and Hemlock — the improvements will include the installation of a raised median in the center of Carlsbad Boulevard, giving pedestrians an island in the middle of the road where they can stop halfway across. The city also will install warning signs, and some could include rectangular flashing lights that pedestrians can activate when they want to cross at these locations, to alert motorists that someone is entering the crosswalk.

We’ve always said that the most dangerous thing about going to the beach in Carlsbadistan is crossing Coast Highway. For the official word from the City of Carlsbad, follow the jump.City to improve crosswalks at the beach

The City of Carlsbad will install medians and high-visibility crosswalks on Carlsbad Boulevard between Carlsbad Village Drive and Tamarack Avenue to make it safer and easier for pedestrians to get to and from the beach.

The improvements help meet goals that the City Council set to improve pedestrian safety and beach access along Carlsbad Boulevard.

The project will improve pedestrian crosswalks at six locations along the scenic coastal roadway: Oak, Pine, Sycamore, Maple, Cherry and Hemlock avenues.

At five of these — Oak, Sycamore, Maple, Cherry and Hemlock — the improvements will include the installation of a raised median in the center of Carlsbad Boulevard, giving pedestrians an island in the middle of the road where they can stop halfway across. The city also will install warning signs, and some could include rectangular flashing lights that pedestrians can activate when they want to cross at these locations, to alert motorists that someone is entering the crosswalk.

The sixth location, Pine Avenue, has a traffic signal, so improvements will include installation of a high-visibility crosswalk.

“Carlsbad Boulevard is a five-lane roadway more than 70 feet across with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour,” City of Carlsbad Deputy Transportation Director Bryan Jones said. “By constructing these pedestrian median islands, we are enhancing the safety of pedestrians crossing the roadway by allowing them to cross one direction of traffic flow at a time.”

Other changes include allowing traffic to only turn right, or northbound, when exiting Oak, Sycamore, Maple, Cherry and Hemlock onto Carlsbad Boulevard, and placing crosswalks on the south side of the intersections, to prevent pedestrians from crossing in front of vehicles making those turns. The pedestrian safety improvements are evenly spaced so that every other intersection will have a crosswalk and median island, and the adjacent intersection on either side will allow full access for motorists.

“This is another example of the livable streets concept, which recognizes that streets aren’t only for vehicles, but for people,” said Jones. “These changes will make it easier for everyone — people exercising along Carlsbad Boulevard, surfers carrying surfboards, grandparents pushing strollers — to go to and from the beach in one of the busiest and most beautiful parts of Carlsbad.”

Livable streets, also called “complete streets,” use street design to create a sense of place and community through green spaces, medians and signage, while encouraging a healthier, active lifestyle.

The Carlsbad City Council identified livable streets as a top priority at its annual goal setting workshop in January 2012.

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