Town Improves Pedestrian Safety With Dynamic “No Right on Red” Installation
The Town of Davidson, in a partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, is improving pedestrian safety at its downtown signalized crosswalks, including the intersections of Main Street and Griffith Street, Main Street and Concord Road, and Main Street and Chairman Blake Lane/South Street.
New LED signage provides a prominent alert to drivers turning right. LED message boards facing the vehicle right turn lane will indicate “No Right on Red” when a pedestrian “walk” signal has been activated and while the pedestrian is in the crosswalk. When there is not a pedestrian in the crosswalk, the message board will be dark, and drivers will be able to turn right on red.
Currently, drivers turning left are required to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. The town is modifying the signal timing phases so that drivers do NOT get a left turn signal when pedestrians get a walk signal – “separating the phases” will help avoid conflicting information. Traffic modeling has shown that this change will have minimal effect on flow through these intersections.
With these changes, the use of the “leading pedestrian interval,” installed six years ago, will be discontinued. The “leading pedestrian interval” had been programmed at these intersections so that pedestrians had a three-second lead into the crosswalk before a vehicle had a green light.
The Town of Davidson recognizes that there are many things competing for drivers’ and pedestrians’ attention in the downtown area. These signal changes will help protect pedestrians and have little to no effect on traffic flow. The changes are part of recommendations from the Pedestrian Safety Task Force, and the town will continue to work towards improved safety with the Vision Zero Task Force.
Editor’s Note: these changes have also changed the sequencing of the lights. Most notably, the green left turn arrow for traffic turning left off Main Street onto Concord Road is at the start of the cycle versus the end of the green light cycle.