FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Third quarter crosswalk assessments conducted by the City’s SGF Yields pedestrian safety program indicate driver compliance at crosswalks has remained at 53% across Springfield. Traffic engineers give credit to the effectiveness of the crosswalk “Yield Check” enforcement events by the Springfield Police Department.
The quarterly crosswalk assessments, performed by Springfield Public Works Traffic Operations division since 2017, evaluate driver compliance at six crosswalk sites with similar traffic speeds and characteristics. Two locations are studied every quarter as a control group. The remaining sites are selected from each of the four City Council zones. Results from each location are averaged to produce a snapshot of driver compliance across the city.
Study sites for third quarter of 2023 included crosswalks at Boonville near Central, Grant Avenue near Talmage Street, Bennett Street at Delaware Avenue, Lone Pine near Allen Street, Broadmoor at Weaver Street and Saint Louis Street near the Expo Center.
On average, drivers yielded 25% of the time when crosswalk assessments began in 2017. Since then, efforts in public education, crosswalk improvements and amendments to local crosswalk regulations have made an impact in local driving habits.
“Yield Check” enforcement events for 2023 ended in September. Crosswalk Yield Checks, in partnership with the Springfield Police Department, enforced crosswalks over seven months beginning in March. Funded through a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation, high visibility crosswalk enforcement events utilize police officers on overtime and focus on educating the public on crosswalk laws and issuing citations as needed. Drivers yielded to plain clothes officers 51% of the time during the initial warning phase of the program. The average yield percentage increased to 63% during the publicized citation phase.
“Crosswalk enforcement has come to a close for this year, but we are hopeful to continue to hold our city-wide average compliance at 53% moving forward,” explains Traffic Safety professional Mandy Buettgen-Quinn. “Fortunately, the Missouri Department of Transportation sees the value in the program and has renewed Yield Checks funding for another round of enforcement in 2024.”
“When our engineers’ studies at non-enforcement locations show an increase in yielding during crosswalk enforcement waves, that tells us the enforcement has a positive spillover effect on all crosswalks, not just the ones where enforcement takes place,” Buettgen-Quinn explains. “That is why advertise and sign your Yield Checks, it’s primarily about deterrence and safety education, not revenue.”
For more information on crosswalk compliance studies and the City’s efforts to increase pedestrian safety, visit the SGF Yields webpage at springfieldmo.gov/sgfyields.
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For more information, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected]