Amarillo, TX – For those who travel Coulter Street north of Amarillo Boulevard frequently, you may have noticed a new device that is designed to improve pedestrian safety between the hospitals and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
“The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center would like to thank the City for their efforts in making this crossing safer, not only for pedestrians but also for drivers,” says Richard Jordan, M.D., regional dean, TTUHSC School of Medicine. “However, we would still continue to urge everyone to use caution when approaching or crossing this part of Coulter, for the safety of all involved.”
The average daily vehicle traffic for that Coulter location is 11,064, according to Jerry Bird, traffic engineer for the City of Amarillo. He says the pedestrian traffic signal is the result of an identified pedestrian crossing need between the hospitals and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
“It does make the crossing safer because it gives the motorist a stop requirement and reinforces state law which requires motorists to stop for pedestrians, when they are crossing at a designated crosswalk. It gets people’s attention.”
Bird adds that when a pedestrian presses the button to activate the signal, the light will flash yellow for four seconds to warn motorists before turning solid yellow for four seconds. After that, the signal turns red for five seconds, allowing pedestrians to start to cross. After the five seconds of solid red, the signal will flash red for another 19 seconds. This allows motorists to proceed once the pedestrians have crossed the street while the red lights are flashing. After the 19 second flashing phase, the signal returns to dark.
The installation of this pedestrian traffic signal is the result of a multi-year cooperative effort between the City of Amarillo, the hospitals, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. For more information on traffic signals and safety, visit the City’s website at www.amarillo.gov, click on “Departments” and select Traffic Engineering.