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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The crosswalks

 Those newish crosswalks on South Bayshore are a great idea, they seem to work and as people are zooming down South Bayshore Drive, they do stop and allow a biker or pedestrian to cross, but one problem I've found is actually seeing the bikers or pedestrians. I have almost hit people more than once because of the way the crosswalks are situated.

Take the one by Mary Street. It is at the north side of the crosswalk but should be at the south side, on the same side as the street as Yacht Harbour. The reasoning is that when people are coming out from Mary, making a left onto South Bayshore to go north, many times the person in the crosswalk cannot be seen. I'm not sure if it's the angle of the turn or if trees are blocking them but the driver has to first watch for oncoming traffic, make a quick turn and in doing so, make sure there is no one in the crosswalk, which is many times a last minute thing. For some reason, you don't see the person crossing right away.

May I suggest moving the crosswalk to the south side of that intersection, so that the person coming from Mary, making a right or a left will have a clear view of any bikers or pedestrians.

One other spot which has always been a tough one is at the end of South Bayshore, where it turns onto McFarlane Road. There is a crosswalk there where you can cross from the Woman's Club on the corner to the Sailing Club (or Peacock Park) across the street, but it's always been a tricky crossing since oncoming traffic cannot see people due to the turn. The crosswalk is a great idea, but I think in this instance it may give the pedestrian a false sense of security thinking that, "as long as the crosswalk is there, I'm safe." They aren't. It's a dangerous spot. Maybe there should be no crosswalk there so as not to give that false sense of hope.

Have you ever had an close incidents at the crosswalks? Riding? Driving? Biking?

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Blogger Milda Bublys said...

That's true about the one on Mary. Almost got hit the other day. In all fairness, he did see me and the car in the lane next to him stopped- he kept going at 40 mph or higher....

But, I think if they keep it as it is, it should be one of those light-up crosswalks- to warn drivers as its the most obvious way. The truth is, Miami driving is crazy, and people (in general) aren't very mindful or considerate.

September 16, 2014 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with having it on the south side is that people making that right turn will be looking left and may not see pedestrians to the right. At least those making the left turn have more time to spot someone in the crosswalk. I use this crosswalk daily and if I see someone making a left out of Mary St, I just hang out in the island until they pull out and either stop to let me go or simply just continue with their turn. Its safer.

I really with this crosswalk had those flashing lights though. People speed down Bayshore all the time. A few weeks ago there was a speed trap here, but I have not seen them since.

As far as close calls, I have only had one here. Ironically enough it was by a city of Miami police officer in a marked car. An SUV stopped to let me cross and the cop that was driving behind him pulled around as I was starting to cross! As he drove by, I saw he had his cell phone to his ear and was most likely not paying attention. I motioned at him with my arms as he drove off and the driver of the SUV also expressed similar surprise. Too bad I did not get the tag or number.

September 16, 2014 4:27 PM  
Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

That spot is tricky. Drivers need to careful. Pedestrians need to be MORE careful. I would never step into the street thinking that I have the right of way. That's backwards thinking.

September 17, 2014 1:26 AM  
Anonymous Bill Kunz said...

The crosswalks offer less than zero protection to pedestrians. The false sense of security compounds the problem as drivers in a hurry and talking on their cellphones either do not see or do not care. I have had to step back to the sidewalk as a driver looking right at two of us accelerated .
If you want to get your name in the Herald trust the crosswalk.
I spoke to a police officer that was chilling in his cruiser in the boat ramp parking lot with clear view of the Mary St crossing . He had less than zero interest in enforcing the crossing law.
Look both ways.

September 17, 2014 8:39 AM  
Anonymous MPeggyQ said...

i agree Tom... the one at Mary St. is poorly placed... I nearly got killed by a taxi driver zooming north... everyone else was stopped -guess he couldn't figure out why - and came within inches of me and my bike...i was not a happy biker and let him yes, I say move that crosswalk where people, kids, dogs, & bikes are more visible.

September 17, 2014 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Miami PD can make our city safer for pedestrians by ticketing drivers who do not stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. The speed traps that they've been running on Bayshore require expensive hi-tech equipment; sitting by a crosswalk watching for dangerous drivers requires free no-tech equipment. Speed traps are almost universally despised by all citizens; enforcing crosswalk laws would be great PR as it would make pedestrians see how police-work is actually improving their neighborhood. Does anyone know if this is actually a likely proposition? Miami PD, convert speed traps to cross walk traps!

I can't help but think of the numerous times when a police cruiser has sped through a cross walk just as I'm about to enter it. These guys should be setting an example for safe driving.

September 17, 2014 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We recently spent a weekend on Marco Island and were very impressed with their approach (at least on the beach boulevard)......the crosswalk has ground lights - when a pedestrian enters the crosswalk, they trigger the sensor and the ground lights blink indicating to any oncoming motorist that there are pedestrians in the crosswalk.

September 17, 2014 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Erica Korpela said...

I have expressed my concerns to officcers at the NET office as they are the local Grove beat. I cross with my son every morning on the way to school. While some people do blast through, many stop. I feel that the ones that don't stop, actually don't see you most of the time. The ground based flashing lights is a great idea in enhancing caution. The S. Bayshore Dr. and Avation crossing is a dangerous one as well.

September 18, 2014 6:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing I forgot to mention: The old "crosswalk" location used to be to the south of the current one. It was actually worse than this one as you had to deal with cars in the left turn lane on the northbound Bayshore side, which has even more visibility issues (for drivers and pedestrians alike) due to the slight curve where the left turn forms.

September 18, 2014 10:29 AM  

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