WITH PRIORITY ON PEDESTRIANS, NEW ‘NO RIGHT ON RED’ SIGNS GO UP ALONG CLEMATIS STREET
Three major intersections receive safety improvements promoting pedestrians’ right of way
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (March 11, 2019) – Prioritizing people over cars, the City of West Palm Beach has installed eight new ‘No Right on Red’ signs between three major Clematis Street intersections. The signage helps to ensure safe access for pedestrians in the crosswalk, so they will not be blocked or potentially hit by a vehicle making a right on red from a perpendicular direction. The driver will have to stop at the red light first and give way to pedestrians and oncoming vehicles. The cross streets for the signage are Rosemary Avenue, Dixie Highway and Olive Avenue. The effort is another way the City plans to reach its Vision Zero goal. By way of the “three Es,” engineering, enforcement and education, the City plans to reduce and eliminate serious injuries and fatalities as a result of traffic crashes to zero. Recently, the City released data that may be attributed to the launch of Vision Zero. The data shows a more than 20 percent decline for crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists from 2017 – 2018.
“Our City continues to be more inviting to people who are walking and biking, and that is a trend we’d like to see continue,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Muoio. “It is important that we adopt changes over time to encourage behaviors that put people first. I am proud of the engineering department for working to make small changes on our roads that will make our city even safer.”
The signs were installed last week by Palm Beach County Engineering, which manages the traffic signals, at the request and direction of the City of West Palm Beach’s Department of Engineering Services team. Four signs were installed at the corner of Rosemary Avenue/Clematis Street, and two signs were installed at each of the following intersections, Dixie Highway/Clematis Street and Olive Avenue/Clematis Street, as the cross streets run only one-way – southbound and northbound respectively. The City plans to hang more signs along the busy pedestrian corridor, notably on the corner of Clematis Street/Quadrille Boulevard in the coming months. Other intersections are currently being studied for adjustments and improvements.
“In areas with high pedestrian activities, such as downtown West Palm Beach, drivers don’t always yield to pedestrians within a crosswalk as required by state law,” said Uyen Dang, PE, City Traffic Engineer. “By installing ‘No Right on Red’ signs, we are prioritizing safe pedestrian access, as pedestrians are most vulnerable when crashes occur. We are working to ensure the safety of the public on our City streets with a heavy emphasis on education and engineering.”
A Vision Zero approach involves a wide variety of methodologies to reduce the troubling traffic fatalities and serious injuries produced on roads daily. The method has been adopted in 34 cities in the United States, with many more abroad. Locally, Vision Zero West Palm Beach is a collaborative effort between internal and external community stakeholders. The City of West Palm Beach acts as connector to resources and experts, advancing a shared goal to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries on the streets of West Palm Beach. The City looks to achieve its goal through the “three Es” – engineering, whereby the City commits to design better streets; education, including public fairs and targeted outreach programs; and enforcement, which includes enforcement of traffic laws and review of policy changes.
“Through a collaborative and multifaceted effort, we are reaching so many people in our community,” said Tara Applebaum, Vision Zero Coordinator for the City of West Palm Beach. “We have hosted events for seniors, events at local schools, community events, and more, to raise awareness of traffic laws and best practices so all people are safe on our City streets. Vision Zero is about improving our streets for all users – from children and teens to adults and seniors – whether you are a pedestrian, bicyclist or motorist.”
For more information on Vision Zero West Palm Beach, visit www.wpb.org/visionzero, call (561) 822-2222, or email Tara Applebaum at firstname.lastname@example.org. For all City of West Palm Beach news and updates, follow the City of West Palm Beach on Facebook @CityofWPB and on Twitter and Instagram @westpalmbch.