Installation producing pedestrian-friendly roads
August 25, 2011
The installation is increasing the number of crosswalks and sidewalks on post to give people more transportation options.
Directorate of Public Works is constructing sidewalks on all the major road networks on the installation, according to Chris Landgraf, DPW master planner. Some of the roads that will have sidewalks are 9th Street, 3rd Street and Gunston Road. Landgraf said the goal is to have a sidewalk on at least one side of each street.
Several traffic signals are also being installed that will have crosswalks, as long as there is a connecting sidewalk.
Some of the intersections receiving crosswalks will be on Jackson Loop, Abbott Road and 1st Street.
The majority of the construction of crosswalks and sidewalks will be completed by September.
Landgraf said the increase in pedestrian pathways is another way for encouraging personnel to travel by other means than cars.
"Every person we get out of a car makes it easier for us to not have as much congestion on the installation, pollution around the installation and not have the need for as much parking," he said.
DPW's big push is during lunch breaks and Landgraf encourages people to walk to lunch locations instead of driving.
"We're trying to make it so that whether it's on a multi-purpose trail, or it's on a sidewalk, or it's on a bike, that there's an alternate form of transportation available to you," Landgraf said.
He said pedestrians and drivers alike should exert the best driving practices while on the installation.
The installation adheres to Virginia state law for enforcing crosswalk safety, according to Timothy Wolfe, Directorate of Emergency Services police chief.
Drivers must yield for pedestrians who are crossing a street within a clearly marked crosswalk or at an unmarked intersection.
The violations for breaking these rules can range from failure to yield to pedestrians to involuntary manslaughter. Penalties can range from fines to jail time.
Wolfe said the installation hasn't had any issues with pedestrians being struck in crosswalks and he urges drivers to continue to be alert of the high volume of pedestrian traffic on post.
He said motorists shouldn't sacrifice safe driving for the sake of being on time for a meeting.
"Pushing your accelerator down in a short span gives you nothing at the end. Miles per hour are over a mile per hour … if you're not going to be traveling an hour you're not gaining anything," Wolfe said.
He also recommended pedestrians be extra careful before walking through a crosswalk.
"Don't assume because the crosswalk gives you the right of way that you automatically have it. That's a 2-ton car moving at x miles per hour. It doesn't stop on a dime," Wolfe said. "So, even though they have the right of way, you got to request it. Be smart about it."