The Johnson City Public Works Department has done much work in the past year to improve pedestrian safety in the downtown area. The city has or soon will construct new crosswalks on State of Franklin at Roan, Spring and Buffalo streets.
Both pedestrians and drivers should always exercise caution, patience and good sense in getting around Johnson City, particularly in areas like downtown, where street and infrastructure work is going on.
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 all pedestrian crosswalks. Motorists need to drive the speed limit downtown and be mindful of pedestrians, especially when they are making turns.
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 more raised crosswalks, sufficient lighting and traffic lights that are properly timed with pedestrian crossing signals.
And we urge Johnson City officials to check all pedestrian crossing signals regularly to make sure they are operating properly. The buttons of several crossing boxes in the downtown are broken and should be replaced.