STOP. LOOK. WAVE. That’s the message city of Duvall officials hope pedestrians will remember from a new safety campaign rolled out in recent weeks. The campaign is meant to influence pedestrian behavior by taking some simple steps before walking across the road.
As Duvall police Sergeant Michael DeBock says, in a video posted to social media: “As the pedestrian approaches the curb, you’ll want to stop. Look for traffic in both directions. And then gain driver contact by waving.”
This simple motto is modeled after similar outreach done primarily in Europe by Volvo Trucks. New signs will be added at the flag holders near the crosswalks along SR-203.
The city is also looking into having new flags printed to include the same visual prompt. The point of it all is to increase pedestrian visibility to the driver, gain recognition between the two, and ensure that people can make it across the road safely.
While encouraging pedestrian behavior is important, the Duvall Police Department has also spent some time on crosswalk emphasis targeting those drivers who are just not stopping.
In a report provided to City Council by Officer Brandon Rhodes; over the course of eight days Duvall Police made 46 traffic stops on Main Street, gave 38 verbal warnings, and issued eight citations. They also found that 74 percent of those stopped were not residents of Duvall.
With a growing population and popularity of downtown, the issue of crosswalk safety has come up again and again.
Requests have been made to stripe (paint) the crosswalks or install flashing beacons in the pavement or above ground. The jurisdiction of Main Street lies with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), which only typically allows crosswalk striping at controlled intersections, such as those with traffic signals.
Duvall is working with WSDOT officials on some alternatives that could be applied to one of the downtown intersections. One of those possibilities is known as a HAWK (High Intensity Activated crossWalK) beacon.
The HAWK beacon would not only require additional infrastructure, but also approval of WSDOT and careful consideration about which intersection it would be placed at.
While additional crosswalk emphasis campaigns will be conducted over the coming months, Duvall officials are hoping that with some new signs and knowledge the safety of residents and visitors crossing the road will continue to improve.
Just remember: Stop, Look, and Wave before you cross the street. And a smile never hurts either.