The $433,000.00 Crosswalk

Construction is now underway at the intersection of Park Blvd. and Cypress Street for a new crosswalk. Total cost: $433,000.00. No, that is not a misplaced comma.

Some would say that this new crosswalk, with flashing lights and signs is a good thing because it helps pedestrians. To that I say, a Stop Sign would have achieved the same result, would have cost a lot less, and would have been better for the neighborhood in general.

The problem is that Park Blvd is designed like a freeway with straight, wide travel lanes that go uninterrupted for blocks. By the time cars reach the Cypress Street intersection, cars can, and do, travel at 40-50 mph. The street is designed to be unsafe for people walking and bicycling.

So San Diego’s solution to an over-engineered street that kills pedestrians is an over-engineered crosswalk. It’s a freeway style solution to a freeway-like problem. Unfortunately, it does nothing to improve the street, calm traffic, or make the rest of the street safer for people walking or biking.

Flashing Crosswalk

Worse yet, with its strobe-like flashing yellow lights and flashing signs, the visual pollution to this quiet residential section of Park Blvd is horrendous. 

A Stop Sign would have achieved better results, at a much lower cost to install and maintain. However, if the City was still hell-bent on spending 1/2 Million dollars to make Park Blvd safe, it would have better spent the money on traffic calming, narrowing lanes, protected bike lanes, and … a stop sign. 

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3 Responses to The $433,000.00 Crosswalk

  1. Derek says:

    Or a roundabout.

  2. Glenn says:

    These kinds of projects often look very expensive, considering that, to many people, the equipment that is most prominently noticeable is the crosswalk lights (this particular system at Park and Cypress is state of the art), but the cost of $433,000 would involve civil work associated with the road, the sidewalks, disabled pedestrian accessibility, and even decorative treatment, which would have been included in the scope of the overall project and packaged with the lighted crosswalk warning system.
    It’s easy to misinterpret the value, and perfectly understandable that a cost-concious taxpayer would at first glance not notice the entire package, but you will seldom if ever find that the crosswalk warning system would cost this much, alone, if not included with other improvements and renovations.

  3. Greg says:

    So the city once again applies a very expensive band-aid on an untreated infection. Imagine if, instead, lanes had been narrowed, protected bike lanes had been added, and roundabouts similar to the one at Louisiana and Landis had been added at the cross streets with crosswalks at Cypress and Myrtle.

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