Drivers rarely yield to pedestrians on this busy downtown street.
This would be a good place for a yield line accompanied by "yield here to pedestrians" signs on either side of the street.
(See page 11 of part 2b of the federal Manual of Universal Traffic Control Devices:
That's a very dangerous intersection for pedestrians, and you'd think Yale would do something about it.
The problem is that Temple Street is narrow. Too narrow for safety.
With cars parked on both sides, there is barely enough room for the two lanes of traffic, and the sight lines for a driver heading down Temple are bad.
Also, it is so tight driving, that you always have to keep an eye out for the car in the lane next to you (for fear that it might slide over into your lane and side-swipe you). In heavy traffic this captures a good deal of your focus and attention, meaning keeping an eye out for pedestrians becomes a secondary.
Finally Temple Street is a major artery into the downtown grid, and the through traffic is always in a hurry.
I think the city should think about getting rid of parking on one side of the street or the other. Either that, or use additional stop lights and engineering to slow the cars down, as otherwise it is only a matter of time until a pedestrian gets clipped or killed.
I would recommend curb extensions like those installed further down Temple Street near the Omni Hotel. Curb extensions at this crosswalk would improve sight lines and make pedestrians more visible without requiring the elimination of any parking. Curb extensions also decrease the time it takes pedestrians to cross the street, thus reducing delays to motorists.
It's too bad this didn't come up before the renovation of Silliman College. That would have been an ideal time to redo the curbs. As it is, curb extensions will probably have to wait until the sidewalks and curbs are redone again.
In the mean time, a yield line accompanied by Yield here to Peds signs would probably be the best interim solution.
Traffic signals are generally not considered an effective means of traffic calming (quite the opposite, in fact), and I would strongly oppose the elimination of on-street parking to widen the lanes. It was once believed that elimination of (all) on-street parking could improve pedestrian safety, but that notion has been pretty conclusively disproved. Any benefits from sight distance improvements afforded by the elimination of on-street parking are far outweighed by the hazards of the higher speeds that drivers unconsciously adopt on streets without on-street parking. If curb extensions are not an option, on-street parking can be eliminated on a limited basis to improve sight lines near corners (this is known as "day-lighting"), but parking should never be removed to add or widen travel lanes (if improving pedestrian safety is your goal).
Brian, I'm going to disagree.
The problem is the narrowness of the street. I can't think of another two lane street in New Haven where I consistently worry about knocking mirrors with another car.
I think it'd be much safer if they made it like Crown Street. Good sight lines, and parking on only one side of the road.
And that intersection might be a good place to install a raised crosswalk, (i.e. speed table). http://www.livablestreets.com/streetswiki/raised-crosswalk
At a minimum, make the traffic do a slow-n-go.
I agree with Ed.
If you are concerned about the lane widths, I would look at replacing the right-hand travel lane with a six-foot bike lane before looking at removing on-street parking. The navigable road width would still be exactly the same, so there's no way replacing a travel lane with a bike lane would have any impact on businesses and there would still be space turn pockets (right-turn pockets can be combined with bike lanes where necessary, sort of like what was done on Orange St). What do you think?
Temple Street is wide enough that I don't think daylighting at Wall Street would really cut it. It's the raised crosswalk or curb extensions that would really help.
In Road Pedestrian Sign Still Needed!
I walked down Wall St across Temple Street in the crosswalk today THROUGH MOVING TRAFFIC THAT DID NOT STOP FOR ME. Drivers shouted at me while I pointed to the "Yield to Pedestrians" sign. It's only a matter of time until someone gets hit.
I agree with Nat. This is a major problem intersection and something absolutely must be done before additional residents are killed or seriously injured.
In Cambridge, MA, where extensive study and evaluation of traffic calming has been done, recent "raised crosswalk" projects lowered the number of drivers exceeding the 25MPH speed limit from 59% to 5%, from 57% to 17%, and from 39% to 14%, respectively.
Scientific surveys of residents were also conducted. 57% of residents believed that traffic calming projects resulted in an increase in pedestrian safety, whereas only 13% felt it decreased. Similar splits were found for cyclist safety and motorist safety.
In the case of two raised crosswalk projects, the percentage of drivers who yield to pedestrians increased from 13% (before raised crosswalk installation), to 53% in one project and from 18% to 54% in the other.
Is Harvard really better than Yale?
It is pretty clear that in the case of Temple and Wall, lane width reductions, curb extensions, raised intersections/crosswalks and chicane treatments must be installed immediately in order to prevent further pedestrian fatalities, injuries and discomfort. Just imagine how pleasant it would be to live in a walkable city.
This intersection is terrible for pedestrians trying to cross! Every time I approach to cross Temple St., unless the timing of the lights at Temple & Grove was just right so that no cars are coming, the cars continue streaming through Temple & Wall as though the crosswalk and those giant ::Man in Crosswalk:: signs don't even exist. Pedestrians stand (reasonably) timidly on the curb, waiting for a break in traffic rather than stepping out and assuming the cars will yield to them. I, as a snarky pedestrian exercising my rights, always step out into the crosswalk, but usually at least one or two rude and dangerous drivers blaze right past me because they clearly can't bear to yield to a pedestrian. Absurd. And they look at me too, so it's not that they don't see me.
Why doesn't this intersection have lights?? It is busy enough. Clearly the dangerous behavior of drivers on Temple St. here is not going to be stopped through their own good will - an infrastructure change is needed to tame drivers. Traffic signals, protected cross lights, curb extensions - something! Even just a stop sign on Temple St.!!! Do we really need all those drivers to get to Elm so fast that they endanger everyone at the Wall intersection? Two stop signs to protect hundreds of people a day - surely that could fit in the city's budget?
Also quite difficult for bikes on Wall St. to get across Temple unless you dismount and walk (how humiliating) or wait for a break in traffic. For the same reason - drivers are unwilling to yield to something that is smaller than them. I even see cars on Wall having trouble getting across this intersection!
Stop signs. A good second place strategy until something morem permanent cN be done.'i'm worried they might @#$% off a lot of drivers if used here tho given the relatively low traffc on wall. It would be kind of like the stop signs on cold spring street that everyone ignores. Still even if that were true it would still be netter than nothing!
This is one of the busiest intersections in the city in terms of pedestrian traffic. The city should conduct a safety audit and make the necessary changes.
Was at this intersection this week and I have seen vast improvement in the number of slowed and stopped cars. (So few use to stop that I feared when I stopped that the car behind me would drive around me and hit the pedestrian I was stopping for.)
Get ride of all parking near the corners for 4 or 5 car lengths. Add two ZipCars.
I think the idea of removing parking and replacing it with a curb extension. The improved sight lines would greatly increase the visibility of pedestrians.
As it is now, drivers get right up near the intersection before seeing pedestrians, which doesn't allow much time to stop, especially if they are traveling at more than 15-18 MPH (which, therefore, is the fastest speed you can possibly drive on this street and still be driving safely).
There are problems both for pedestrians crossing Temple at this intersection and Wall especially on the South side - drivers hurry to turn onto Wall because of the prevailing speed of traffic and they often do not see that a pedestrian is crossing Wall in the crosswalk until they are almost running into them. I witnessed a cyclist walking a bike across Wall knocked over by just this sort of turning vehicle. Fortunately for that person - he was not badly hurt, but it's only a matter of time before this intersection has an auto related fatality.
I agree 100% with Derek.
I was just almost killed here. (Right in front of my French teacher, too!).
When I came up to the intersection, I dismounted my bike to cross Temple. I was standing there—waiting—in the crosswalk itself, but a steady stream of cars kept passing by, swerving a little to avoid me. One lady even gestured at me to get out of her way (remember, all I'm doing is standing there with my bicycle, waiting for someone to let me cross). I pointed forcefully at the sign that clearly says “YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS WITHIN CROSSWALK,” but nobody took any notice. Eventually, there was a gap resulting from the signal change at Temple and Grove. As I walked across, the driver of an approaching white Cadillac SUV (with those fancy blue headlights) sped up and tried to hit me. I had run to get out of his way.
I know some people like to speed up to try to hit birds or small animals they see in the road, but trying to turn PEOPLE into roadkill is not OK. I wonder if the fact that I was wearing a bike helmet and sunglasses and walking a bike somehow dehumanized me in the eyes of the SUV driver. Who knows? At any rate, I am a person, and killing people (or trying to kill people) is not OK, no matter who those person are.
I would oppose a stop sign or full signal here, as I believe they would create more problems than they would cause. I'm starting to think, however, that it may be worth looking into button-activated LED rapid flashers. These are basically like yellow strobe lights mounted in the crosswalk signs on either side of the street, that are activated by a push button. I would be open to other ideas, but I definitely think yellow, button-activated flashers are worth looking into.
(As you can probably guess, I meant to say “create more problems than they would solve,” when discussing stop signs and full-on traffic signals in my last comment…talk about a Freudian slip, eh?)
The aggressive drivers who tried to kill you at this intersection should be locked up, Brian.
Can the Yale Police do more consistent, hard-hitting enforcement here until better infrastructure can be installed?
The other day when I needed to cross and was waiting on the curb, a driver stopped properly. But it was moot since the cars kept moving fast in the outer lane--AND the car behind the courteous and lawful driver swung around into the curb lane to turn left on Wall, making me jump back. I agree that a pedestrian is likely to be hit here soon and something should be done.
Luckily NHPD has been making a concerted effort to try to get drivers to yield here over the past couple of weeks (mostly this has involved one bad @#$% cop walking into traffic to yell at drivers to “SLOW DOWN!”). I’m not 100% sure that I agree with their methods, but I appreciate the effort and I hope they keep it up.
If it were up to me, I would recommend that they station one officer at the crosswalk (preferably in plainclothes) who should simply attempt to cross as a pedestrian. Meanwhile, the other officer could be in the patrol car waiting half a block down Temple. If somebody blatantly fails to yield, all the officer in the patrol car has to do is turn on her or his lights and pull the person over, and then—depending on how recklessly or cautiously the driver came through the intersection—the officer could issue either a warning ticket or a real $ citation for failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in the crosswalk.
Really, the police don't need to get through to every single driver, just enough so that people see other people yielding.
I appreciate the extra effort some of the CT Transit bus drivers have been making to yield to peds here. It really helps. Sure, people will still drive around, so you have to be careful to look around the bus before continuing all the across the intersection. Nevertheless, bus drivers taking the time to yield has helped to get me across here on numerous occasions, so I just wanted to thank them.
Wall Street would be great as an all-bicycle street - it would let bikes avoid all the other parallel downtown streets. Then, a special traffic light, & bumped out sidewalks at Temple to get bikes and peds across.
I would definitely support the conversion of Wall St to a two-way bike boulevard. I should be quick to note that this would not preclude the use of the street for local traffic and deliveries. I think this is actually a much better idea than Nelson\Nygaard's recommendation of cycle tracks on Elm and Grove.
I can also see a HAWK signal working well at Temple and Wall (a HAWK signal is a hybrid between a two-way stop and the LED rapid flashers I described in my last comment).
Update from Yale Chief of police on the signage issue:
Chief James Perrotti
11:24 AM (11 minutes ago)
We have requested this intersection before and have been told that because these are one way streets the city cannot place the sign there.
Chief of Police YUPD
Is this a New Haven or CT Ordinance? This restriction is not in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices entry on ISPCS.
Section 2B.12 In-Street Pedestrian Crossing Signs (R1-6, R1-6a)
I don't think there should be any "restrictions" on measures that save lives.
If we can use the inability to put a crosswalk sign here to instead get a 2 way bike boulevard with raised crosswalks, I'm glad for the restriction! Let's get creative.
Excellent & very creative thinking Brian. I hope that someone follows through with your suggestion.
Video w/ some nice ideas for stepped up enforcement (temporarily needed here until a fix can be put in place): http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/09/23/instant-justice-on-the-streets-of-sacramento/
just now, SIXTEEN cars refused to yield to me as i was trying to cross here, traveling too fast to catch their plates.
what if, in the meantime, we put two buckets of stop signs on either side of the street (maybe with the text "stop for pedestrians in x-walk")
when you cross in one direction, take from the first bucket and then leave it in the second.
That's unacceptable - something has to be done now before someone is killed.
Ha! Juli that's a very creative solution to the problem - a little constructive street theater every time someone wants to cross the street?
Could the YPD station a crossing guard?
I'm still throwing myself into traffic here everyday!
With the several recent pedestrian fatalities nearby, can some kind of urgent action be taken here? This intersection does seem particularly risky given the issue of weaving traffic and limited visibility.
There is a Downtown-Wooster Square Community Management Team meeting tonight at 6pm at City Hall Meeting Rooms. Come by and voice your opinion to help solve this issue -
Monthly Meeting - 3rd Tuesday every month at 6pm
Acknowledged By the Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking.
I saw that in-road pedestrian signs have been placed all around Southern Connecticut State University. I saw several there this past weekend.
Can we get one here? How come there are no signs in place in Downtown New Haven or around the Yale campus yet?
Just watch where your walking...
It is certainly past the snowplow excuse for not having the signs out. As we can see from the troll above, the "drivers" are feeling their aggression out there on the road and need a little more explicit reminding that pedestrians (i.e. people!) have the right-of-way on the street.
T and P, where are the signs?
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This is our whole problem in a nutshell,
"they don't stop for the on coming cars who have the right away"
It is state law that all motor vehicles MUST yield right-of-way to pedestrians in a crosswalk. That is a fact.
It looks like someone just got rear-ended after stopping for a pedestrian.
People need to learn to lay off the accelerator in urban areas.
I agree, BUT, when I stop for peds here, I just hold my breath and half-expect to get rear-ended. People drive so impatiently here, and for what? An in-street sign would help, because then maybe the next set of cars would be more prepared to stop and not risk an accident.
Pedestrian-activated rapid flash beacons installed on the yellow diamond crosswalk signs are the most well-established measure for addressing the rear-end collision issue.
Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons have been granted interim approval by the Federal Highway Administration to be used for this purpose:
The most widely used systems are manufactured by Spot Devices:
It looks like the 2009 MUTCD has provisions for Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons:
These would be even better than rectangular rapid flash beacons!
I vote that we meet with the city to have them put in a budget request and/or grant proposal for Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons for this location. An engineering study may be necessary. The guidelines for such a study are laid out in Chapter 4F of the 2009 MUTCD, as are design standards and guidelines for the beacons.
I'd be interested in a meeting if you set one up, Brian. Though I think traffic calming would be more cost-effective than a beacon system, and also more effective at reducing risk.
Perhaps the issue also could be brought to the attention of Elm City Cycling or Bike Walk Connecticut.
If we want to reduce risks of death by 90% or more, we need to consider some more serious measures on major walking routes like these.
Curb extensions would definitely be my preferred solution; beacons are just something that could be implemented in a matter of months rather than years. If the city somehow ended up with enough money, I would recommend a signal coordinated with Grove and Elm Streets like what we have on Church. In a downtown area like this, having signals spaced closer to together is actually good in the sense that it makes it possible to time the lights for slower speeds.
Does anyone have a connection to the Master of the adjacent dormitories, or to any companies based near Wall and Church, whose constituents use the intersection frequently? I'm wondering how this can be moved along. I know it will be raised within the university at a higher administrative level, at some point, but it would be good to see a resolution sooner than that.
Mark, I am in Timothy Dwight College, remember? And we do have a brand new master. I suppose @#$% probably be interested in this.
I was walking by this intersection around 9:30am (5/23/2011) this morning--Yale graduation day!-- and saw a bunch of emergency vehicles. It looked like it might have been a pedestrian or cyclist hit. It wasn't 100% clear. But as this and other SCF posts attest to, at the very least an in-street pedestrian sign is desperately-needed here. Drivers simply are not yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk here. People have been reporting this problem here for years. It's time to do something to make this intersection safer!
acknowledged 2 years ago- what progress has been made. the usual NOTHING.
The city's policy is that in street signs cannot be placed on one-way streets.
I was thinking that you could some sort of reflective temporary bollard in the solid white line that divides the two travel lanes on Temple for about 20 feet leading up to the intersection, and at the end of a series of reflective bollards you could then place a in-street pedestrian road sign. I would also suggest that some paint be addded to the lanes of travel leading up to the crosswalk with arrows for left/straight in the left lane and an arrow for straight-only in the right lane.
I saw this in NJ I think -