Hitting Crossroads with the New Crosswalks

Whose Idea Was This?

Blake Blanchard, Staff

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For the past year, there have been renovations on Highway A1A around Satellite Beach, including the much-appreciated road and traffic light replacements. But, one factor of this work has had baffling consequences―the new crosswalks. The purpose of these crosswalks seem to be sound and a noble goal: Create more safe avenues for crossing A1A. However, their implementation is a nightmare. First, the crosswalks require passing traffic to stop for people in the crosswalk, but it makes the action of this nearly impossible: There is no sign that indicates to stop, offering no warning to the driver nor safety to the crosser. This creates serious problems on A1A: Since it has a 45 mph speed limit that is more of a suggestion to some, it’s impossible to stop quicky if you notice a person in the crosswalk.


Furthermore, the location of these crossings are not place efficiently. The most prominent example is the crosswalk south of the Jackson Avenue intersection. It is less than 600 ft away from the intersection, which is a redundant placement. The nearest crosswalk thereafter is over 2,000 ft away, making the distance to safely cross A1A longer than it needs to be.


While it is thoughtful to create safe and convenient beach access, it is a moot point if no one uses them. Ask yourself how many times a day you travel down A1A. Then, consider how many people you see actually using the crosswalks while driving; I have only seen it used once since they were opened. In that same time, I have seen several jaywalkers crossing the road, often in the immediate vicinity of the crosswalks.


So, the question remains: If no one is using the crosswalks as intended, why are they there?