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Councilmember Nick Licata
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Northwest Sector
Mercer St / Dexter Ave N (map)

Mercer St & Dexter Ave N

Respondent #31, 10/06/2012

During both the morning and evening rush hours, and at other busy traffic times, these intersections are blocked by cars whose drivers have attempted to "squeeze" into the flow of traffic before the light changes red and are left blatantly parked in the middle of the intersection as the flow of traffic changes in the opposite direction, leaving other drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians with no other choice but to try to snake through this mess on Mercer Street. Bicyclists and pedestrians are particularly at risk, often the bike lane and cross walk are blocked entirely, and we're left to ride or walk in the narrow spaces left between cars, often in the middle of the roadway or intersection, putting ourselves at risk of being crushed by cars and trucks as we simply try to make it to home or work. The posted signs informing drivers of traffic fines for blocking the intersection might as well be invisible without any sort of law officers within sight to enforce them. 

On the one recent occasion when I did see an officer at the Dexter and Mercer intersection, the scene was entirely different: No vehicles blocked the intersection and I actually got to use the crosswalk and made it all the way home without fearing for my life. If a single officer posted at this intersection on one evening could make such a difference, I imagine a steady schedule of law enforcement officials posted at these locations during the busiest parts of the day, even for short bouts of time, even just a day or two a week, could vastly improve this dangerous ongoing situation --- if not by constant enforcement, then at least by the possibility of potential enforcement. 

What is it going to take for this situation to change? Does a biker have to get hit? Does a pedestrian need their legs crushed by one of these drivers blocking the crosswalk? 

Back to Northwest Sector list of critical crossings.

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