VDOT recommends improvements for high-priority crash clusters

Four of 19 clusters are in southwest Virginia

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - VDOT and Roanoke city leaders are working on ways to improve pedestrian safety all across the Commonwealth.

This summer, VDOT released its Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, identifying 19 high-priority crash clusters across Virginia on which to focus. One is on Campbell Avenue in Roanoke.

VDOT determines crash clusters based on whether or not an area had a strong history of pedestrian crashes with similar characteristics between 2012 and 2016. Three incidents happened on Campbell Avenue in that time.

To make everyone safer, VDOT recommends restricting parking near crosswalks, extending curbs and adding stop or yield signs in the street.

Rachel Ruhlen serves on the Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. 10 News asked her what kinds of changes she thinks would make the city more pedestrian friendly.

"I would like to see more pedestrian signals with the countdown timer, and I would love for all of them to be audible and with that tactical sensor,” Ruhlen said. "A lot of times, it's as simple as a stripe crosswalk. Another one that's a little more expensive but is still a fairly simple fix is called a pedestrian refuge island, just to make it easier so you can cross one side of the road and then you have a safe place to wait until it's clear so you can cross the other side so it doesn't feel so much like you're playing 'Frogger.'"

The city is also working to improve pedestrian safety. Just this week, crews installed Roanoke’s first rectangular rapid flashing beacon. It's at the crosswalk on Dale Avenue at 19th Street Southeast.

Of the 19 high-priority crash clusters across Virginia, four are in southwest Virginia: one in Roanoke, two in Blacksburg and one in Radford.

Click here to see the full action plan.

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