HomeCity NewsBy the Book: Traffic Engineer Reviews Crosswalks

By the Book: Traffic Engineer Reviews Crosswalks

First published in the Feb. 2 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

When LCF Traffic Engineer Farhad Iranitalab reviewed each location proposed for mid-block crossings, he made sure that each conformed with The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The manual is a document issued by the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

  1. Memorial Park at Foothill: Currently, the crosswalk has a rapid flashing beacon. The area itself is used frequently to access the flea market in the park. Traffic volume is approximately 20,000 vehicles per day. Since this crossing is actively used by pedestrians, a mid-block traffic signal is justified, according to Iranitalab.
  2. Verdugo Boulevard at Trail Crossing: This crossing is an active trail that is frequented by pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians. The posted speed is 35 mph and carries about 11,000 vehicles per day. Based on the direct connectivity to other segments of the trail via Descanso Drive, this mid-block traffic signal is justified, the engineer found.
  3. Descanso Drive at Trail Crossing: This frequently used crossing recently received a rapid flashing beacon, and the area carries 6,000 vehicles per day. The intersection with a traffic light and the proposed mid-block crossing is 360 feet away from each other. Iranitalab said this is OK, since generally intersections and mid-block crossings have to have at least 250 feet between each other. The posted speed limit on this street is 35 mph. Based on the speed and volume of traffic, the installation of pedestrian signal is justified, Iranitalab found.
  4. Chevy Chase Drive at Flint Canyon Trail Crossing: This location is a part of a major rural highway within the LCF area. It is a curvy road with no traffic control, which can make the introduction of a new signal bad news. The posted speed is 30 mph and the street carries about 5,000 vehicles per day. Based on the roadway geometry, curvature and absence of any control devices along this segment of the roadway, this crossing was not approved for a mid-block traffic signal.
    “You don’t want to surprise the driver when there is nothing else around it,” Iranitalab said.
  5. Foothill Boulevard Crosswalk at Viro Road: The current crosswalk includes a rapid flashing beacon device with push button activation and school crossing guard during the school morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up periods. Because this is an intersection and not a mid-block crossing, the installation of a mid-block pedestrian signal would present conflicts for motorists at this location because of an existing stop signal on Viro Road. Public Works will be further analyzing this intersection.


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