I posted this photo of this sign last night on our Facebook page where it got a big response. I labeled it as, “shouldn’t this sign be everywhere?”
Where it happens to be is on North Main Street just north of Steeple Street, the pedestrians ahead that it is talking about are trying to cross at Park Row at the corner of the Roger Williams Memorial, while traffic barrels up North Main Street like a bat out of hell.
I can’t recall if a crosswalk was actually painted here to accompany the signs, but really, the way traffic moves here, and the weird geometry of the intersection (how Meeting Street and Park Row are offset but traffic tends to move through as if they are not, even moving the wrong way on North Main at times to get from Park Row to Meeting), there needs to be more thought here than signs and paint.
Bump outs are needed on the sidewalks so that pedestrians can see oncoming traffic, and oncoming traffic can see pedestrians trying to cross. I find, as much as we talk about how terrible Rhode Island drivers are, if someone sees me, they have a tendency to stop if they can.
But really, this sign should not read “Ahead” rather it should read “Everywhere.” Within the city, there should not be any areas where drivers are given special notice that there might be pedestrians, it should be an assumption that drivers in the city make about everyplace. We’ve built this section of North Main in such a way that we make drivers forget there are pedestrians and we’re forced to put up signs then to remind them.