The long wait to cross the street safely

directly. Engineers then find out the number of people and vehicles crossing the intersection as well as how many accidents have occured and other factors, such as the width of the street, said Glenn Ogura, a principal transportation engineer. The department, using a point system, then places those locations that make the cut on a list of crossings authorized to get a signal.

But how long is that list and how long will you have to wait for that yellow flashing light to be installed? That’s where it gets tricky. A lot depends on funding, with additional money available for locations near schools. Otherwise, “it can take a year or a lot longer than a year” to finally get a signal, Ogura said.

Actually, much longer, says Deborah Murphy, chair of the Pedestrian Advisory Committee. “It can take from six months to six years.” More expensive projects have sat on the authorization list for a decade, she said.

So, what’s the fastest way to get a crosswalk signal? Call your council office, advises Murphy. “It takes the political will” of the office to make it happen.

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