Saturday, April 9, 2011

dangerous intersection at corner of Hillside Park


The intersection of 16th Rd N. and N. Pierce St. at the corner of Rosslyn's Hillside Park is dangerous for pedestrians.  Vehicles traveling up the N. Pierce St. hill cannot see pedestrians entering the intersection from the Hillside Park corner or the opposite corner, and pedestrians can't see vehicles near on the hill. 


Possible remedial actions:
  1. Pedestrians could avoid the intersection by using the sidewalk on the other side of the street.  That would require an unintuitive detour for pedestrians entering and leaving Hillside Park via Pierce St.  The lack of a sidewalk on the Hillside Park side of Pierce St. doesn't deter some pedestrians from walking along the road on that side.  Poor sight lines at the intersection create a bigger risk than the lack of a sidewalk.
  2.  Stripes for a crosswalk could be painted across the intersection.  That might just contribute to pedestrians' false sense of security.
  3.  A pedestrian alert sign could be placed on the Pierce St. hill before the intersection.  While an alert sign probably wouldn't change many drivers' behavior, it wouldn't hurt.  The relevant issue would be the cost of installing such a sign versus the expected magnitude of the safety benefit (probably small).
  4.  A stop sign could be installed on the uphill side of Pierce St.  This would greatly improve pedestrian safety, but would inconvenience drivers.
  5.  The intersection could be remodeled to push the sidewalk intersection entry pads out further into Pierce St.  That would narrow Pierce St. slightly, which would tend to reduce vehicle speed.  More importantly, with minor reshaping of landscape at the Hillside Park corner, such a reconfiguration of the sidewalk entry pads would establish clear sight lines between pedestrians and vehicles.
Given that $500,000 was spent on a Hillside Park renovation (the Ode Street Tribune's view on this renovation is well-known and unwavering), the existence of this dangerous intersection next to the Hillside Park entrance is particularly regrettable.  The Ode Street Tribune endorses remodeling the sidewalk intersection entry pads.  Pending that improvement, the Tribune suggests avoiding the intersection.

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