New Haven residents want crosswalk in section of cityPosted: Updated:
Residents in New Haven told Eyewitness News their neighborhood that is lined with shops and restaurants, just bordering the Yale campus, is missing something big: a way to cross the street.
Despite all those colorful markings on Whitney Avenue, none of it marks a crosswalk in a part of the city noted for being pedestrian-friendly.
"It's certainly a busy street here, and there are a lot of students in the area," said Yale student Mark Koyama.
The nearest marked crosswalk is a half block in either direction, either North to Trumbull streets or South to Grove streets.
"There's a lot of businesses, and you have a lot of students and law firms and different places for business here," said Arnold Greene of New Haven. "And there's always kids and families and people crossing all the time."
Instead, students, residents, families, and working professionals brave the oncoming traffic to cross the road.
Eyewitness News found an article from New Haven Independent from May 3, 2011 where someone went so far as to paint a fake crosswalk in that area and attached to the story were 19 pages of comments.
"The city is working on a comprehensive plan to increase pedestrian safety and make the area more of a visually appealing," said New Haven City Spokesperson Anna Mariotti in a statement to WFSB. "The solution entails much more than a simple crosswalk."
City officials told Eyewitness News they're working on a comprehensive plan to increase pedestrian safety in the Whitney Avenue area and it isn't as simple as just a crosswalk.
However, they won't say what that plan is and when it'll happen.
Officials with the New Haven Police Department told Eyewitness News this nearby hill doesn't give motorists enough time to see pedestrians and stop safely to let them by.
However, Eyewitness News saw people are doing it anyway, crosswalk or not.
"You can't always see if a car is coming or not and I'm sure they're not expecting pedestrians so they're just zooming up the street," said Stacy Trock, who is a former resident of New Haven. "So it is always a game of chicken just trying to get across the street there."
Police told Eyewitness News in about the past five years there have been 19 accidents at the intersection, four with injuries. The department spokesperson said that's actually a low number for a downtown intersection.
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