Public Safety W paces crosswalk1

Published on March 3rd, 2016 |

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W. Paces Ferry crosswalk with safety island, flashing beacon completed

The West Paces Ferry Road pedestrian safety crosswalk project—with a pedestrian “refuge” island and rapid-flashing beacon to warn and stop motorists—has been completed. The new crosswalk connects the Whole Foods shopping center to the office buildings and residences across the road.

In the works for more than a year, the pedestrian crosswalk project was tied to the city re-striping West Paces Ferry Road essentially back to its original configuration, following a re-striping by the

This is a close-up photo of the refuge island in the crosswalk on West Paces Ferry Road. The small flashing beacon lights--to warn motorists when pedestrians are in the crosswalk--are just below the yellow sign with the figure of a pedestrian.

A close-up of the refuge island in the crosswalk on West Paces Ferry Road. The small flashing beacon lights–to warn motorists when pedestrians are in the crosswalk–are just below the yellow sign with the figure of a pedestrian.

city a year earlier that was termed by motorists and other as a “debacle.”

The pedestrian crosswalk project has been a project of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, which spent about $50,000 in coordination with the city of Atlanta’s Public Works Department.

CID Executive Director Jim Durrett said in March 2015 that the CID was working with the city of Atlanta on re-striping West Paces Ferry between Slaton Drive and Peachtree Road to clean up a confusing mess the city created there a year earlier.

At the time, Durrett said there would be two travel lanes in each direction, a two-way left turn lane, along with a mid-block crossing at Whole Foods to the One Buckhead Plaza building, with the rapid flashing beacon to warn motorists of people in the crosswalk.

The city of Atlanta signed off on the crosswalk project completion on Feb. 26.

CID board member John Barton, Atlanta managing director of Parkway Properties that owns the One Buckhead Plaza office building, told the board at its March 2 meeting that there already is evidence of the improved pedestrian safety that has been created by the project.

Board member Robin Loudermilk, who has his company’s offices in One Buckhead Plaza, agreed, but said there still is a learning curve necessary for both pedestrians and motorists. He said some pedestrians don’t yet understand they need to push the button to activate the flashing beacon—which goes from flashing yellow caution to flashing red to stop motorists.

He also said he has seen some motorists that have not seen the beacon, or don’t understand its meaning. When the beacon is flashing red, motorists must stop to allow pedestrians to cross.

Durrett told the CID board that there is now talk of considering a similar crosswalk with flashing beacon at the north end of Charlie Loudermilk Park to connect the park across Roswell Road to the Buckhead Theatre and Hanover Company’s mixed-use residential/retail project under construction.

Robin Loudermilk told the board he believes that would greatly improve the use of the park, since it presently is difficult to get to the park.

CID board member and Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook said the city is often criticized as being a dangerous city for pedestrians. “Most of that seems to be the result of bad pedestrian choices” in crossing main roads, he explained.

The CID staff plans an education campaign on the new crosswalk.

Shook also asked how activating the crosswalk flashing beacons will affect the timing of the traffic signals and traffic flow. He was told the crosswalk signal is not connected to the timing of the regular traffic signals.

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