Northwest NEWS

September 2, 2002

Local News

Bothell is counting the seconds for safer pedestrian crossings

BOTHELL Bothell is now among very few cities in the state of Washington testing pedestrian crossing count down signals.
   The system is set up to count down the time (in seconds) for pedestrians to cross an intersection.
   Having this simple but very useful feature eliminates the guessing game of how much time is available to cross the street when you arrive at the intersection and see the flashing "walk/don't walk" signs.
   The new technology has been on the market for about two years and has been very well received and used in many jurisdictions around the country.
   The initial reports documenting the before and after safety conditions seem to indicate that such a device can actually enhance pedestrian safety and prevent accidents.
   The first large scale use of the equipment was installed and tested in Salt Lake City during the Winter Olympic Games nearly two years ago.
   The city has equipped the intersection of SR-527/SR-522/Main Street in Bothell with these count down devices.
   City staff will be monitoring the intersection over the next few months to see how the system is functioning and how the public receives the new feature.
   "If the signals improve pedestrian safety at this intersection," states Seyed Safavian, Transportation Engineering Manager, "the city will look into installing additional pedestrian crossing count down signals at other major intersections throughout the city."