Letter: Commissioner makes request to improve crosswalk safety

To the editor:

According to the Wright County Marked Crosswalk Policy, pedestrians have the right to cross roads safely.
Marked crosswalks tell pedestrians the best place to cross, clarify a legal crosswalk exists at a particular location and also identifies the crossing location for motorists.
In the referred policy, Section V addresses potential problems.
However, marking the crosswalk does not always increase the safety of pedestrians.
Research studies suggest that marked crosswalks give pedestrians a false sense of security.
Pedestrians often step off the curb into the crosswalk, expecting the approaching drivers to stop.
The crosswalk markings, however, may not always be readily visible from a safe stopping sight distance. As a result, drivers sometimes are unable to or fail to stop, causing a death. Although drivers, by law, must stop and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks, two painted lines do not provide protection against an on-coming vehicle.”
As drivers, it is our responsibility is to be focused and observant, paying attention to marked crosswalks.
As pedestrians, we need to use caution when crossing, making sure drivers from both directions see us and slow to a stop.
Working together, we can maintain the highest level of safety possible. Thank you.

Christine Husom,

Editor’s Note: Husom is a Wright County commisisioner. She is also a Safe Communities of Wright County board member.