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How Can Salem Crosswalks Be Made Safer for Pedestrians?

What measures would you take to make Salem crosswalks safer for pedestrians?

It seems like almost every month we publish a police log post featuring an entry about another pedestrian struck while crossing a Salem crosswalk.

The most recent incident occurrted at 8:39 a.m. on Christmas Eve, when police responded to a report of a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle on North Street.

The driver of the car was reportedly cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and the struck pedestrian was transported to Mass General Hospital with "obvious visible injuries" after smashing the car's windshield.

We've even published a Voice in Salem column focused on the dangers of navigating the city's notoriously trecherous crosswalks on Washington Street.

Here are some of the recent reader comments we've received:

Sinead O'Brien: Last weekend a man was violently struck by a car on North St. at Lynde. And again a week later? I live on North, and vehicles drive way, way too fast. It's clearly a danger. Something needs to be done.

Carolyn Costain: I agree with you that cars go way to fast on North st. my sister and walk our dogs to 7/11 for hot chocolate during our walk and nobody wants to stop, even when your in the crosswalk. I can not walk real fast because of a bad knee and i got half way across the street when a car was coming straight at me and sped up while i was in the crosswalk" in the middle of the street," my sister got angry and stood right in front of the car that finely had to stop so I could get across. Like down town they should have cameras on North street and random speed checks.

Maggi Smith-Dalton: The walk light at that intersection has never worked properly...not since day one. AND cars, as you say, drive ridiculously fast there, especially when coming around the corner on the ramp from Bridge St.

ACG: Some mornings no less than a half dozen or more cars will go right past me as I stand part way into their travel lane at the 7/11 crosswalk. I would say most of them are doing 40-45. When someone does stop I have to watch out for the person behind them passing on the right. I do see an SPD officer some mornings sitting near the gas station. So there is a presence. Maybe just not often enough?

Jack Carver: That has to be the worst cross walk. Mostly the pedestrians are hidden by the parked cars at the Old Shell station side of the cross walk and just pop out into traffic. I blame both People just walk right out into the cross walk with out looking and drivers are speeding and texting.

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What do you think? Would you support a campaign to raise awareness about crosswalk safety? Do you think part of the problem is pedestrians jumping out into traffic?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Harry Barker December 27, 2012 at 05:46 AM
In many places in Salem a driver's view of a pedestrian 6 feet out into the crosswalk is obscured by cars legally parked very near the crosswalk. A pedestrian needs to get out far enough to be seen and then wait for the cars to stop. I see this as a common situation and very dangerous. Is the answer to prohibit cars from parking so close to the crosswalk?
Northshore123 December 27, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I can't speak for North St since I don't travel that way often but I have noticed there are a lot of people crossing Derby St. to get to Dunkin Donuts, Brothers, and Beer Works, the latter often after dark, and that area is very dark and hard for drivers to see pedestrians, even those in the crosswalks. When it's dark and raining, forget it. That area needs to have better lighting.
Jason December 27, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I've been hit crossing there on Derby. The purple lighting is part of the problem. Not to mention the idjits that thought putting the light there next to a tree was a good idea. That place is nuts during Halloween, and I've seen many other close calls. Mayor, please implement a change BEFORE we have to read about a child being more than hurt, rather than decide to try it after the fact. Generate city wide AWARENESS. Maybe?
Nancy Santos-Pacheco December 27, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I agree. The more traffice enforcement the better the odds are that these things wont happen as often. Boston St over by the Shell gas station is horrible and even with the cross walk and light its horrible to cross.
Rich Felton December 29, 2012 at 02:47 AM
I agree, the lighting is terrible. The old style lighting doesn't help.They may look nice but they don't give off enough light. People also need to realize with all the over development going on in Salem, it is only going to get worse because of all the increase in traffic.

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