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More flashing crosswalks added

August 19, 2003

Joshua Pelzer

The city is reminding pedestrians to signal, and has put out signs to

remind them to use activation devices for new safety lights along

crosswalks on North Brand Boulevard.

"We've had pavement warning lights in place for three weeks now

and we have noticed a lot of pedestrians on North Brand are not aware

of them and they don't use them when they cross the street," senior

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traffic engineer Wayne Ko said. "These signs are temporary to bring

[the lights] to the attention of pedestrians and to strongly

encourage them to use them when they cross the street."

The six in-roadway warning-light systems at the mid-block

crosswalks on Brand between Doran and Colorado streets are among 32

installed around Glendale as part of a citywide pedestrian safety

program started more than two years ago.

Activation sensors will replace the trigger buttons at the

mid-block crossings in 2005, when the city relocates the bus stops in

front of crosswalks to the far side of the intersections and moves

the extended curbs to keep buses from impeding traffic along Brand.

"For the mid-blocks on Brand, the [sensors] work very well for

that situation, but not for an intersection," Ko said. "[At

intersections] pedestrians can cross at the side streets or main

streets, but it is difficult for the [sensors] to detect which

direction they're crossing."

Accidents have decreased along the city's most accident-prone

crossings, including at Cypress Street and Glendale Avenue, since the

lights were installed, Glendale Police Lt. Don Meredith said.

"Cypress and Glendale has been one of the worst intersections for

pedestrian accidents and since we put the lights in there about two

years ago, there hasn't been a fatal accident, so we do believe the

lights are effective," he said. "But it's only as effective as the

motorists and pedestrians choose it to be for their own safety. Their

own alertness is a contributing factor."

A city study of 13 crosswalks -- including those on North Brand --

showed that the number of daytime motorists yielding to pedestrians

increased from 19% to 76% on average after lights were installed. The

figures were up from 19% to 81% at Cypress and Glendale.

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