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New traffic signal feature in Irvington aims to make intersections safer for pedestrians, cyclists

washington and audubon
Posted at 11:05 AM, Nov 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-05 11:05:28-04

IRVINGTON — For months, Irvington residents have been pushing for crosswalk changes at the intersection of Washington and Audubon intersection after complaints of drivers flying through the intersection.

Now, the traffic signals at that intersection have a Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI).

When pedestrians or cyclists push a button, it gives the walk signal 3-7 seconds before the light in any direction turns green. This gives them time to begin crossing before drivers accelerate or turn into the intersection.

"Like many other neighborhoods in Indianapolis, Irvington is surrounded and divided by busy roads. Unfortunately, dangerous driving habits on these roads lead to pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths," District 12 City-County Councillor and Irvington resident Jason Larrison said in a statement to WRTV. "Improving our infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists has been a priority of the City-County Council for years and continues to be an area of focus."

Larrison says the LPIs in Irvington are the first in Indianapolis.

According to a 2018 report from the Federal Highway Administration, LPIs led to a 13% reduction in pedestrian-vehicle crashes at intersections.

You can read Larrison's full statement below.

Irvington is a robust and vibrant community where residents and visitors value their ability to travel by foot and by bicycle. But like many other neighborhoods in Indianapolis, Irvington is surrounded and divided by busy roads. Unfortunately, dangerous driving habits on these roads lead to pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths. Irvington experienced a preventable death last year when irresponsible drivers’ actions resulted in the death of young Hannah Crutchfield while she used a crosswalk at Washington Street and Ritter Avenue.

Improving our infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists has been a priority of the City-County Council for years and continues to be an area of focus. The recently improved Complete Streets Ordinance demonstrates our continued to dedication to better infrastructure.

Over the past two years, I have worked with the Department of Public Works to create additional opportunities to improve our neighborhoods. District 12 will see great investment in sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, and trails over the next five years. DPW has adopted a Tactical Urbanism policy that allows neighborhoods to take on traffic calming efforts. And Irvington has seen the first Leading Pedestrian Interval signals in Indianapolis.

The Leading Pedestrian Interval signals allow pedestrians access to their crosswalks before vehicular traffic has a green light. This allows a pedestrian to claim right-of-way and enter a driver’s vision earlier. While new to Indianapolis, it is used nationally and is shown to enhance pedestrian safety. The two signals serve neighbors traveling to our local schools, churches, library, parks, greenways, businesses, and homes.

The effort to bring Leading Pedestrian Interval signals to Irvington would not be possible without the support of neighbors that work in cooperation with our public officials and departments. I want to thank Michelle Pleasant and the George Julian School 57 PTSA for their continued support and engagement. Her efforts have been instrumental to the signal installation. I also want to thank the staff at the Department of Public Works who worked with me, Councillor David Ray, and the neighborhood to find creative solutions to our problems. There is still a lot of work to do, but I am confident in our city’s ability to address it.
Jason Larrison, District 12