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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
More Springfield drivers are yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks than not, according to second quarter crosswalk assessments conducted through the City’s SGF Yields pedestrian safety program. The recent assessments show driver compliance has risen to an average of 55% across Springfield, an increase of 15 percentage points compared to second quarter 2020.
“Surpassing 50% driver compliance is a milestone achievement for our community because it means that a majority of drivers are doing the right thing,”explains Traffic Safety Professional Mandy Buettgen-Quinn. “When more drivers follow the rules and obey crosswalk laws, we can expect more pedestrians to trust crosswalks and seek them out as a safe and efficient way to cross. It’s up to both groups to change their habits, and we’re seeing it happen.”
The quarterly assessment, performed by Springfield Public Works Traffic Operations division since 2017, evaluates 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 second quarter of 2021 included crosswalks at Campbell Avenue at Pershing Street, Bennett Street at Delaware Avenue, Jefferson Avenue near Sunset Street, and Bennett Street at Prince Lane along with control group crosswalks at Grant Avenue near Talmage Street and Grant Avenue at Calhoun Street.
SGF Yields uses a three-pronged approach involving education, engineering and enforcement in an effort to encourage a cultural change in the community and make Springfield more pedestrian friendly. The local crosswalk yielding average began at 25% of drivers yielding when crosswalk assessments started in 2017.
“The progress is encouraging and shows that our combination of efforts including education at schools, modifications to crosswalk design, and recent “Yield Check” enforcement activities are getting through to people,” says Buettgen-Quinn. “Of course, the ultimate goal is for 100% of drivers to stop each and every time, but we realize that this requires a cultural change that will be a much longer-term challenge for our community.”
For more information on crosswalk compliance studies and the City’s efforts to increase pedestrian safety, follow SGF Yields on facebook at facebook.com/sgfyields or visit the program webpage at springfieldmo.gov/sgfyields.
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For more information, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected].