Thursday, 24 July 2014 11:20
I’ve recently raised a concern on the Plainview Moms Facebook page about a dangerous pedestrian/bicycle crossing on Old Bethpage Road in Plainview. It tends to be one of the busier crossings for those using the newly redone Greenbelt Trail.
The crossing seems to have gotten worse once a “traffic control” was added. It was actually a safer crossing prior, because it was very clear that the onus was on pedestrians and cyclists to wait for an opening in the traffic.
Enter the vague crosswalk! A crosswalk was painted on the road several months back. There are even flashing light on either side of the road that can be tripped when a button is pressed. However, the yellow sign merely states “Trail Crossing.” The word “yield” or “stop” is not used. Pedestrians press the button for the lights and then proceed, assuming traffic will stop for them. However, it seems there is only a 50 percent chance this will happen.
Now the whole situation is vague at best — for both motorists and pedestrians. Many drivers seem confused as to how to treat these blinking lights. Slow down? Proceed with caution? I have also seen other motorists grow impatient with considerate drivers who do stop for cyclists.
I have seen so many near misses at the crossing, including my own son who was nearly hit right in front of me. I have seen school buses blow through this crossing, Town of Oyster Bay Garbage Trucks ... motorists are just not completely sure what they are supposed to do there. All the crossing does is give the formerly wary pedestrians a completely false sense of security. It is an accident waiting to happen. Those crossing signs really need to be bolder and should say “State Law Requires you to Stop when Pedestrians are on Crosswalk,” or even a regular “Stop” sign.
I recently woke up to news of a bicyclist killed in Melville and decided that I did not want to wait for that to happen here. We need to take action.