Last year, Princeton installed new ‘Stop For Pedestrians’ signs on Chambers Street, just off Palmer Square in the historic downtown area. The signs were added at the request of a neighbor, who observed that car traffic tended to exceed the speed limit and drivers often did not cede the right-of-way to pedestrians trying to cross at the intersection with Hulfish Street. One of the pylons has now been smashed. What should be the response?
Anecdotally, the signs have been successful at reducing vehicle speed and making it safer for pedestrians to cross. But there was always a fear that a careless driver would run into the signs, destroying them. In that case, the municipality must spend money on replacing the signs, or decide to get rid of them. One of the signs has indeed now been smashed:
As of last Saturday, the sign was broken right off its pylon, and lay forlorn in the roadway, where passing motorists unceremoniously drove over it. The pylon itself is snapped in two at the top, suggesting that it might have been clipped by a truck- although it is also theoretically possible that it got broken by a big gust of wind. What do you think is the appropriate course of action now?
A – Get rid of the signs?
B- Just replace the broken sign?
C- Replace the sign and add more traffic calming measures to manage vehicle flow?
D- Close Chambers Street to through traffic?
Doing nothing isn’t really an option, because the municipality has a legal obligation to maintain road infrastructure. This is an interesting question for deciding how to balance pedestrian-vehicle conflicts in our busy downtown.
What do you think? Which of the options above do you think is best? Do you have another suggestion? Or is this just not important? Let us know in the comments section below!
They’ve gotten nailed almost every week; the town has been very good about repairing them. That one gets hit the most; I think people turn left out of the garage, and then look right for oncoming traffic and forget it’s there. Moving it to the other side of the crosswalk might reduce that.
But yeah; something more permanent would be swell; though I imagine a permanent improvement would probably cost more than a thousand replacement signs, so this might be the most economical solution for years to come. They have worked reeeeally while, for what it’s worth — cars go much slower when they are up.
Thanks for the update!
Even when I walk toward this crosswalk, particularly at night, I find it particularly hard to spot – for cars it must be even worse. Without the signs it would be almost impossible to see: the whitelines seem to be rubbing off/obscured by puddles. Painting stripes on the crosswalk might help visibility of both the crosswalk and the signs for relatively little investment. I am a big fan of a pedestrianized downtown, but I think Hullfish isn’t the ideal choice for closing to vehicle traffic.