While drivers should stop for pedestrians waiting to use crosswalks, current State Law does not require drivers to do so. State Law does require that drivers stop for pedestrians who have entered the crosswalk “when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching and is within one lane of the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning”. This means that approaching drivers must stop for any pedestrian within their lane and at this location, drivers in BOTH directions of travel must stop for pedestrians within the refuge island. The city will be adding signage similar to the previous in-street sign, intended to remind drivers of this state law. If vehicles are not stopping for pedestrians as stated above, police enforcement can then be applied at this location.
Theconstruction of the median refuge island provides a significant pedestrian safety improvement compared to the previous crossing. It also provides an improved opportunity for pedestrians to find a sufficient gap in traffic to allow them to safely enter the crosswalk. If a pedestrian identifies a gap in traffic approaching from the left that allows them to safely enter the roadway, the island provides a buffer between themselves and traffic approaching from the right. This buffer then provides time for drivers approaching from the right to identify that a pedestrian has entered the crosswalk, allowing them time to stop prior to the pedestrian arriving at the island. Pedestrians can improve their safety by making sure drivers see them before they enter the crosswalk and are encouraged to wear bright or reflective clothing when using the crosswalk at dusk or when it is dark.
Should the existing red/yellow flashing signal be removed,the city would consider the addition of a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB). However, based on experience at other locations in Dunwoody, this would not necessarily address the initial issue raised (vehicles not stopping for pedestrians waiting to cross) as they are not a traffic control device.