Letter to the editor, Aug. 7, 2014
Ideas to reduce pedestrian-vehicle accidents
Pedestrian-vehicle accidents seem to be rising in Carson City, and I have a couple of suggestions which may improve pedestrian safety. The first is that chains or cables should be strung along the bollards and light posts at the curb to direct pedestrians to cross only in designated crosswalks, reducing jaywalking. The second suggestion, which has been implemented elsewhere, is to provide the downtown crosswalks with fluorescent red flags for pedestrians to use to indicate their intention to cross the street. Such flags are about 18² square on about a 24² dowel handle. They could be silk screened with a Carson City logo on one side and use instructions on the other. Posts at the crosswalks would be equipped with holders for the flags, with about four or five flags placed at each end of the crosswalk. A pedestrian intending to cross selects a flag and walks to the curb, displaying it to the oncoming traffic and catching their attention. Once the traffic has stopped, the pedestrian completes the crossing and replaces the flag in the post-holder on the other side for the next person to use. The main disadvantage of this system is that the flags may get stolen, but clearly identifying them as city property may help reduce that. The secondary disadvantage is that someone (volunteers or merchants) might need to monitor the flags on their block and replace those which go missing. I think it’s an inexpensive project worth trying in the downtown 25 mph corridor.