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Councilmember Nick Licata
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Seneca and 6th Ave. , map

Respondent #32 submission
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lots of pedestrians need to cross this intersection to get from Freeway Park or the bus stops nearby to downtown offices. It is relatively easy to cross from the NE corner of this intersection to the NW corner. However, it is very dangerous to cross from the NE corner to the SE corner because it is legal for motorists to turn right from Seneca on red. 
What happens is that motorists coming down Seneca pull up and look to their left, waiting for a break in the traffic coming from the highway and from farther south on 6th. Because these are one-way streets and there are never any cars coming from their right, they don't look that way. Almost every day, I see people turn right after having looked to their left for extended periods of time, without checking to their right again before going into the intersection. Some of these motorists are hitting the gas HARD, too, when they go into their turn. When the pedestrian signal switches from Don't Walk to Walk, the drivers don't get a green light and are still trying to make their right turn on red (i.e. there is no noticeable change in the light cycle, to them), so they don't realize that pedestrians may start to cross. 

Basically, to cross this street during the Walk signal means stepping directly in front of a car that may start moving without looking at any second. You can only cross if you somehow make eye contact with the driver, but again, many of them never look to their right so you don't have the chance, and some cars have tinted windows. Attached is a sample photo of the typical situation at rush hour. When I took this photo, the pedestrian signal was red, but the next step in the light cycle would be for the walk signal to say Walk, and for traffic to start coming up 6th Ave. To cross the street "properly" with the Walk signal would mean stepping out in front of this giant truck. 

I realize that one could simply decide to remove the pedestrian crossing, forcing people cross 6th first, then Seneca, rather than preventing drivers from turning on red. I find this intersection so flagrantly dangerous that it would be wrong not to alert someone.

Back to Central Sector list of critical crossings.

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