|The crosswalk in front of Highlands High School on Memorial Parkway. FTM file.|
In November 2016, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet denied the city of Fort Thomas the use of LED signs on four city crosswalks throughout the city.
They said, according to city officials, that because the requests were on state routes, the city would not be allowed to make changes to signage on those routes.
The majority of the changes were requested in front of schools on North and South Fort Thomas, and on Memorial Parkway in front of Highlands Middle and High Schools.
Residents and council members have increasingly become frustrated with a cavalier attitude towards walkers, joggers and cyclists. One improved crosswalk signage was completed, in front of Ruth Moyer Elementary on Highland Avenue.
The city of Fort Thomas says they have plans of rolling out a larger initiative that could include more signage, but it's not yet clear where.
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The following note was sent to Fort Thomas Matters:
In every city, streets and sidewalks interconnect and create conflicts between drivers and pedestrians. It is important that the community embrace the concept that where these conflicts occur, drivers should ALWAYS yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. We teach our children at the earliest age possible that they should look both ways and use crosswalks before entering streets; yet as adult drivers, we often fail to honor those same crosswalks.
The city is working toward creating an environment that emphasizes the need to recognize crosswalks, be aware of all pedestrians (children, joggers, cyclist) and defer to them at intersections/crosswalks. This type of cooperation will provide a safer environment for travel of all types throughout the community.
A beginning point for this initiative is the locating of a manual activated crossing sign that alerts drivers with a flashing beacon when pedestrians intend to use the crosswalk in front of Ruth Moyer Elementary on Highland Ave. This device is simple in that if you push the activation button, it will trigger the flashing beacons located below the signs on both sides of the crosswalk.
Please take the opportunity to discuss this device with your children and emphasize that:
a) Pedestrians are equally responsible for their own safety
b) Pushing the activation button does not mean they can immediately enter the crosswalk
c) The rule of "look both ways" still applies
d) Crossing guards (when present) are still in charge
e) Only activate the device when you are intending to cross the street
City and school personnel will be working together through visits at each school as part of this initiative to share the principles of pedestrian safety with our students. Please support these concepts with your children at home and set examples for them as we travel though our city.
As we move forward, other locations will be considered for installation of similar devices. The city will continue working with other government agencies to explore the possibility of creating this and other safety devices near all the schools and business districts. It will require us all to making this "Pedestrian Safety Initiative" a success.