As Press staff writer Madison Mathews reported in Sunday’s newspaper, Johnson City officials are trying to improve pedestrian safety in the revitalized downtown area. There is a lot of work that still needs to be done in this regard, including educating both pedestrians and drivers on key safety tips.
Pedestrians should make sure they follow all the safety rules before stepping into the street. That includes crossing the road legally by using crosswalks, paying attention to their surroundings by looking both ways before crossing the road and wearing light colors and reflective material at night.
Drivers should be aware of their surroundings and slow down at pedestrian crosswalks. Motorists need to drive the speed limit downtown and be mindful of pedestrians, especially when they are making turns. They should also slow down whenever their vision is obscured by weather or other factors, and never pass vehicles that have stopped for pedestrians.
Even in areas where the city has tried to improve the ability of pedestrians to get around safely, there is still much left to do. Needed are raised crosswalks, sufficient lighting and traffic lights that are properly timed with pedestrian crossing signals.
We also urge Johnson City officials to check pedestrian crossing signals regularly to make sure they are synchronized and operating properly.