Pedestrian Controls Proposed for Newport and Abbott

by on September 25, 2014 · 10 comments

in Environment, History, Ocean Beach

Have you been bugged by the lack of pedestrian controls at Newport and Abbott?

There’s apparently some money around that will enable the City to make specific infrastructure repairs and improvements for pedestrians.

So, some City staffers are looking into installing some pedestrian controls at the busy half-intersection of OB’s main commercial drag – the grand Newport Avenue and Abbott Street – the street that parallels the ocean.

Some OB planners are very happy about this – as pedestrian controls at that site are on their “to do” list. Others are happy too as they have been concerned about safety issues at that L-shaped meeting of the two streets.

Currently, there’s no painted strips in the roadway or any traffic control device or sign, and it’s been like that for decades and it’s always been busy.  Yet, tourists and visitors aren’t certain what to do when they reach a point where they wish to cross, and perhaps something there would be helpful.

The OB Planning Board may be able to  hold a public hearing on this very issue at their next meeting on October 1st, but City staff must do some more preparatory work before they are ready to present anything.  Stayed tuned to this station.

In the meantime, the OB Rag is running a poll on this issue on the homepage. What do  you think?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Rae September 25, 2014 at 4:25 pm

I’m glad the City is looking at this intersection, but I really hope they don’t suggest implementing a crosswalk without traffic controls. Mid-block crosswalks without traffic controls create a false sense of security for pedestrians and lead to more accidents than they prevent. This corner needs stop signs with a crosswalk due to the limited sight distance for drivers. A traffic signal would be horrible but I’m not worried the City would suggest a signal–it would never meet the warrants (# cars, # peds, documented accidents, speeds) and City is always hesitant to put in signals where the warrants are iffy because they are expensive to install and maintain.

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Avatar Adam Ewing September 25, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Idk, people in cars seem to respect when people need to cross, or people wait until it’s clear, either way people seem to tend to be able to navigate this situation safely. Only problem I see pretty regularly is people taking that curve at full speed without regard. Something I was thinking would be a welcome addition and of good use is one of those flashing crosswalks when activated by someone that needs to cross. The other difficult situation is how busy the pedestrian and vehicle traffic is at both of the pier parking lot entrances on busy days. I can’t think of a solution to make it easier, safer or less stressful but this situation also people seem to be able to navigate without too much problem. I fear any traffic control measures in this corner would just cause more confusion and wouldn’t necessarily increase safety or convenience.

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Avatar John September 28, 2014 at 2:38 am

Sound observations.
As the city seems to be on the march with lighted crosswalks in north park and elsewhere I predict this will be high on their list of options.
It seems the most effective and least disruptive.

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Avatar Wireless Mike September 25, 2014 at 5:30 pm

How about a painted crosswalk and a couple of PED XING signs to alert drivers that pedestrians have the right of way? Maybe some flashing yellow lights. I think the city can afford that.

I think the intersection at Newport and Bacon is more dangerous because of the heavy pedestrian traffic in all directions at once, and drivers who don’t seem to know how to use a four way stop.

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Avatar Dave Rice September 26, 2014 at 12:02 am

Ditto all this, especially the need to focus on Newport and Bacon. Not sure how to handle it – another light isn’t particularly appealing, given traffic is always crawling through here anyway (both vehicular and pedestrian), but there are times I’m really tempted to go running with a crowbar after the third car in a row that’s run the stop sign, ignoring cross traffic and nearly mowing down pedestrians who have apparently never been taught the “look both ways” (or ANY way) rule that we drill into three-year-olds…

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Avatar Tyler September 26, 2014 at 5:39 am

Perhaps a light at Newport and Bacon that was synced with the light a block up would allow the flow of traffic to flow smoothly?

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Avatar Dave Rice September 26, 2014 at 9:13 am

That’s a nice thought, but it would take an engineering marvel to sync those lights up, as there’s a crosswalk in the middle of that block, jaywalkers everywhere, bicycle and skateboard traffic, and huge backups when someone stops in the middle of the street for 2-3 minutes to wait for someone else to load up their car and vacate a parking spot…traffic being a general disaster west of Cable on Newport and, to a lesser degree, Niagara, is just something I’ve come to accept.

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Avatar Sarah September 27, 2014 at 7:12 pm

On summer weekends and other very busy times a traffic cop at Bacon and Newport would be great and a bit old-school. It might help deter some of the bad behavior in thT area, too.

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Avatar Bill Ray September 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Bacon & Newport. Such a PITA.

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Avatar Nicole October 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm

As we all enjoy walking, biking, and rolling through OB, we hope that some kind of OB improvement will be made to create beautification and safety for the area. If you are interested in brainstorming suggestions, you may join us at 12:30pm on Friday. We will be meeting City Staff and would like to request that we be mindful and supportive of the efforts to create something that works for the majority and adds a bit of safety for the most vulnerable.

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