Will ‘report card’ signs stop Seattle drivers from going through crosswalks?

Mar 22, 2022, 12:46 PM
report card, crosswalks...
Pedestrian safety signal at a crosswalk in Ballard. (Photo courtesy of SDOT/Flickr)
(Photo courtesy of SDOT/Flickr)

Seattle is installing “driver report card” signs at 13 intersections with marked and unmarked crosswalks, as reported by KING 5.

“This is part of a $350,000 public education and awareness campaign being rolled out over the next two years,” KIRO Nights host Jack Stine summarized.

“These signs have got to cost, what, $3,000 a pop, $2,500 a pop? To put up signs that say ‘drivers stopped for crosswalk-ers ahead 46%,'” he continued. “This is a huge waste of money and time.”

KIRO Newsradio’s Chris Sullivan says it’s all part of the city’s “Vision Zero” initiative, which aims to reduce pedestrian deaths to zero.

“Which is a laudable — maybe not very realistic in a big city — but it’s a laudable goal,” he said. “So they’ve come up with all sorts of ways to do that, and this just appears to be the next latest one, which is kind of shaming drivers into doing what they’re supposed to do which is stop for pedestrians at marked crosswalks and unmarked. That’s the law — it’s pretty simple, it should be done.”

As far as Chris understands, the traffic patterns will first be studied, then there will be signs put up with the percentages of how many people did or didn’t stop for the crosswalk. So drivers will see, for example, a sign that says “58% of people didn’t stop at this intersection.”

“Is that a good reminder? Are people going to stop because they saw that? I don’t know,” Chris admitted. “If you’re blowing through a crosswalk right now as a driver or a bicyclist, you’re probably not going to care about a sign because you’re doing the wrong thing — and you know it. This seems like they had to spend the money, and another town found it to be successful, so let’s see if it works here.”

“I get it — it seems silly, especially when it probably won’t have any impact because if you’re already running crosswalks, you’re going to keep running crosswalks,” he added.

Listen to KIRO Nights weeknights from 7 – 10 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Will ‘report card’ signs stop Seattle drivers from going through crosswalks?