Is there some extra action that can be taken with some of the local crosswalks, especially in the Audubon/East Rock area? I have a walking commute & I cross two crosswalks (Pearl/Orange, Trumbull/Lincoln) four times a day each, and have been doing this for the last four years at least. I have an unsettling incident nearly every single today and today a woman at the Trumbull/Lincoln crosswalk made some really nerve-wracking threatening motions to deliberately hit me with her car while I was in the center of the crosswalk (because I was stuck there, as the car that had let me pass on the opposite side had started moving on & I had gestured to this oncoming car that she needed to stop for the crosswalk).
I know that there was a sign placed on the orange/pearl crosswalk, but I have often seen that sign banged up on the side of the road and no one seems to see it. It doesn't seem to be very widely understood that these crosswalks mean yielding to pedestrians within it, and I've been caught many many times in the center between two lanes of racing traffic. Several years ago I was hit on Trumbull, though very lightly on the hip and without further incident.
I'm VERY careful and aware at the crosswalk from years of experience, but the longer I have to take this route the more inevitable it becomes that I'm going to end up being hit eventually. It is NOT safe for pedestrians. I have on a few occasions encountered a similarly frustrated gentleman, who is disabled, sitting on the side of the road & using his walking stick to hit the "yield to pedestrian" signs - not because he's crossing the street at that moment, but because he has had so much terrifying trouble in the past that he feels taking a moment to remind passing drivers of this apparently borderline obscure law is worthwhile.
As a pedestrian I have my own distinct set of road rights and responsibilities, but I have no way to protect myself in many cases when a car does not follow the guidelines, even when I am paying close attention. Most often it's those on foot doing the yielding, and there's probably not much to be done about that, but these two particular high traffic intersections in question (again, orange/pearl and trumbull/lincoln) are VERY close to both two schools and a housing facility with a large number of disabled and elderly residents. These are crosswalks that should be monitored with at least a modicum of care.
To be clear, these two are only the two intersections I encounter the most - I know this problem is much more widespread, and is much more of a pressing concern for children, the elderly, and the disabled, who may not all be as visible or able to get out of the way of careless drivers, and who are also much more likely to BE pedestrians and not motorists.
This is NOT a safe or walkable city as long as pedestrians cannot rely on traffic markers & laws to help protect them from motorists. The fact is that the vast majority of motorists completely ignore the crosswalk indicators. The city of New Haven needs to make an extra effort to enforce these laws, especially during morning and evening rush-hours. The banged up "yield to pedestrians" sign in the gutter on orange should be the first clue that this is not enough to keep people safe - absolutely appalling in a zone containing more than one school. Crossing guards, traffic cameras, or other measures are absolutely necessary.
These are not massive commercial roads or highways that should be complicated or dangerous to cross, and they are located in small neighborhoods or narrow city streets near multiple schools and close to the homes of many disabled people. New Haven seems to be interested in reducing the number of drivers in city streets, and if that's its concern, it also can and should do more to look out for the safety of residents who can't or choose not to drive. I'm personally pretty exhausted by the scares, stress, and hostility from people who don't totally understand the traffic laws and I'm an able-bodied person who knows what to expect. Please, please put more effort into smoothing out the relationship between cars & feet. This would be such an insanely dumb way to die.