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Make streets easier to cross

GR needs more ways to increase pedestrian safety and convenience.

Photo of Laura Muresan
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It's this way many places in the city, but I'm thinking specifically of Kalamazoo Ave south of 28th St. Other than at busy intersections, there are no pedestrian crosswalks. A person can walk far out of the way to get to one, or cross wherever. I choose to cross wherever, but sometimes I wait for minutes to find a safe time to cross. More crosswalks would be nice, but people travel pretty fast on that street, so a standard striped crosswalk might not be enough. Kalamazoo is hilly from 28th St to 44th, so visibility can make crossing tricky. I'd love to see a road diet (down to one lane each way, with center turn lane) on this street, with pedestrian refuges added to make crossing easier. It seems like pedestrian and bicyclists are considered in the more central parts of the city, but it's pretty much ignored along the edges.

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Crosswalk confusion

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Photo of Tom Bulten

Thanks for another great contribution, Laura--about the pedestrian experience. Kalamazoo between 44th and 28th is a difficult stretch for those that ride bicycles. So, a "road diet" would help them as well as the pedestrians trying to cross Kalamazoo. Road diets are sometimes criticized. But, what's your experience of some of the recent road diets around the city: Burton, Knapp, Division....? --as a driver, bicycle-rider, walker, or resident?

Photo of Laura Muresan

You're welcome, Tom! I also ride my bike on Kalamazoo quite a bit (only for a short stretch), but use the sidewalk there. I'd love bike lanes there! My pedestrian experience on Kalamazoo is actually a cyclist trying to walk a bike across the street.

As for my experience with road diets, the only one of those streets I ever drive on is Burton (and that, rarely, since I'm usually biking). Personally, as a cyclist and occasional driver, I haven't had a problem with it in places where it is, but find the intersections are bit tricky for a cyclist. My least favorite part, though, is how it ends abruptly near Breton. A road diet I really, really like as a cyclist and don't mind as a driver is Jefferson. I ride that way frequently and it is my favorite route (I also love that it is flat and shaded).

Back to Burton: that is another road that could really do with more crosswalks. I don't think there are any between Eastern and Madison. I live near Eastern and 28th and ride my bike downtown regularly. I usually take Union and have to cross Burton. Sometimes that takes a really long time to cross. If there were a crosswalk, I'd get off my bike and walk across so I wouldn't have to wait as long. Sometimes it takes a couple of minutes to find a chance to go (it's still better than Kalamazoo, though, since there are fewer lanes of traffic to cross). Maybe crosswalks should be entirely abolished, and anywhere a pedestrian is waiting to cross, cars have to stop to let them go.