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Cornelius News

Davidson installs  dynamic ‘no right on red’ to improve pedestrian safety

Davidson is making changes to traffic signals in the downtown for pedestrian safety. | Photo Town of Davidson

Oct. 12. Davidson and the NC Department of Transportation is improving pedestrian safety with new LED signage at downtown signalized crosswalks  that provides a prominent alert to drivers turning right.

The intersections are: Main Street and Griffith Street, Main Street and Concord Road, and Main Street and Chairman Blake Lane/South Street.

LED message boards facing the vehicle right turn lane will indicate “No Right on Red” when a pedestrian walk signal has been activated and while the pedestrian is in the crosswalk.

When there is not a pedestrian in the crosswalk, the message board will be dark, and drivers will be able to turn right on red.

History of accidents

The town formed a Pedestrian Safety Task Force  following the pedestrian fatality on Main Street on June 17, 2021.

“This incident, along with previous devastating fatalities, injuries and close calls, served as a catalyst for the town board to call for a task force to look specifically at pedestrian safety, namely pedestrian and vehicle conflicts,” according to the task force website.

At the intersections

Currently, drivers turning left are required to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

The town is modifying the signal timing phases so that drivers do not get a left turn signal when pedestrians get a walk signal. This should help avoid conflicting information.

Traffic modelling has shown that this change will have minimal effect on flow through these intersections.

Other changes

With these changes, the use of the “leading pedestrian interval,” installed six years ago, will be discontinued. The “leading pedestrian interval” had been programmed at these intersections so that pedestrians had a three-second lead into the crosswalk before a vehicle had a green light.

The changes are part of recommendations from the Pedestrian Safety Task Force, and the town will continue to work toward improved safety with the Vision Zero Task Force.