It will soon be a little safer to cross some of the city’s busy intersections: 150 traffic signals around the city will be changed to allow a head-start for pedestrians before the lights turn green for cars.
There are currently 50 leading pedestrian interval (LPI) intersections around Seattle, in which pedestrians are given a 3- to 7-second head start before the green light. SDOT says they’ll be installing 150 more by 2021, including one at Fremont Ave N and N 36th St, and another at N 90th St and Greenwood Ave N by the end of June.
Federal highway studies show that LPI intersections result in 60 percent fewer pedestrian-vehicle collisions. SDOT says that crashes involving a turning vehicle account for three-quarters of all collisions at intersections with traffic signals.
SDOT prioritized LPIs in urban villages and centers, areas where a serious injury or fatal pedestrian crash occurred in the past three years, and near public and private schools within Seattle.
The new policy means that SDOT will evaluate adding one of the new LPI signals every time they build a new traffic signal or do signal maintenance work that provides the opportunity for an upgrade.
“We’ll make the change unless there’s a specific reason why it does make sense in a particular location,” SDOT’s Ethan Bergerson says in a statement.
To read more about the changes, visit SDOT’s blog.