Pedestrian Protective Posts
They make crosswalks hard to miss.
by Margaret A. Leary
From the December, 2017 issue
That's what traffic engineers call the bright-yellow wands that sprouted from local streets this past summer. Part of the city's "A2, Be Safe!" campaign, they're hard-to-miss markers for pedestrian crosswalks.
A small sampling of residents found most agreeing that the PPPs slow traffic, particularly those at the cramped, busy intersection of South Seventh St. and E. Washington. "I have to slow down," one person commented. "I can't tell whether my car will fit through!"
The city first experimented with PPPs in the fall of 2015. Traffic engineer Cynthia Redinger emails that the initial installation was part of an MDOT study on the "effectiveness of low cost pedestrian improvements." This year many more appeared in places such as the Miller-Newport intersection, the south entry to the Broadway bridges, and Division near Packard.
But the signs, made by national vendor Qwick Kurb Inc., have not all survived their interactions with Ann Arbor drivers. Made to be easy to install and remove once permanent anchors are in the pavement, they are flexible enough to bend rather than break. One near the Newport-Westport intersection has been flattened. And all the posts have to be removed before snowfall, lest they fall victim to snowplows.
[Originally published in December, 2017.]
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