No more flashers
Following a citizen complaint, the city's cracking down on flashing this week– flashing traffic lights, that is. This Sunday, October 15, downtown traffic signals on Market and Water streets will be fully operational after two decades of Sunday flashing.
"It's a no-brainer," says pedestrian activist Kevin Cox, who believes an increase in downtown traffic over the past several years has made the flashing signals impractical and even dangerous, as heavier flow of cars attempt to get through intersections with no working signals.
Cox wrote a letter to the city's new traffic engineer, Jeanie Alexander, requesting the change in signals, but he says he didn't expect to see quick action.
"Even when it's really obvious there needs to be a change, they're resistant," says Cox of the city.
He underestimated the response.
Alexander says she and Lonnie Randall in the traffic department observed traffic patterns last Sunday and determined Cox had a point.
"I think he's correct that things have changed, and it's time to reexamine," she says. Among the issues Alexander and Randall noted: pedestrians having difficulty crossing, particularly when church services were letting out mid- and late-morning.
Alexander says the city will try watch the signals this Sunday, and possibly future Sundays, before making a final determination.