Giving pedestrians a head start when crossing busy intersections improves safety

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How 4-7 seconds makes a big difference

We’re making our roads safer for people walking and driving by giving people a head start to begin crossing the road before drivers get the green light.

When people have a 4-7 second head start in the crosswalk before turning vehicles get the green light, pedestrians are able to establish their presence and are visible to motorists.  While this change is merely seconds, it makes a big difference in safety. We can expect pedestrian crashes to reduce 13% or more at intersections with this feature.  

Watch the video below to see the head start in action at Sunnyside Road and 142nd Ave in the Happy Valley area. Sunnyside Road is the busiest road in Clackamas County with approximately 40,000 vehicles passing this intersection daily. As you’ll see in the video, the pedestrian is almost halfway across the street before drivers are given a green light, making it much easier for drivers to see people in the crosswalk and wait their turn. 

We now have over 40 intersections with this capability in Clackamas County and we’re planning on upgrading 50 more in the future. We’re committed to increasing walkability and safety for everyone who lives and visits our community.  Efforts like this are low-cost strategies that will help the county reach the goal of zero traffic fatalities by 2035. Together we can travel safely wherever we work, live and play in Clackamas County.