Tulane Study: Drivers don't stop for Lafitte Greenway lighted crosswalks

Drivers hit the gas instead of the brakes to keep from stopping for bicyclists

Thomas Perumean
July 23, 2019 - 11:06 am

Paula Burch-Celentano

Tulane researchers wanted to know how well the lighted crosswalks along the nine Lafitte Greenway intersections were doing their job.  

What they found is the opposite.  When a cyclist or pedestrian triggered the lights, most drivers failed to stop.  A little less than half of the drivers stopped when a cyclist or pedestrian approached the intersection but didn’t activate the signals!

Dr. Jeanette Gustat ran the study, "Motor vehicles less likely to stop: that's troubling because that indicates potential for crashes."  

“Greenway users told us they don’t think these signals work to make drivers stop,” says Chris Anderson, a doctoral candidate, who helped conduct the study.

"Motor vehicles have to stop when there's somebody in the crosswalk--that's already on the books, it's already supposed to be happening, but it's not," Gustat says.  

She suggests a variety of ways to get the message out to drivers, "You can do enforcement, you can put in things like traffic calming features such as speed bumps or even thinking about another type of signal."  

But before you stake out the police, or tear up the streets to put in speed bumps or new signals, Gustat also recommends:  "We could do more signage to make [the crossings] more obvious.  We could try a P-R campaign, advance warning signage, all of that." 

To view the study about the Greenway, click here.

Also, another study is examining the costs and benefits of the Greenway.  Gustat says that study is in its final stages and will be published soon.  

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