Hello everyone. Another great week of cooler weather has blessed our area. Things at the city are humming along. The school kids seem to have settled in, and Wildcat football has its home opener tonight. It’s exciting times,
Hello everyone. Another great week of cooler weather has blessed our area. Things at the city are humming along. The school kids seem to have settled in, and Wildcat football has its home opener tonight. It’s exciting times.
Each year as school starts, there always seems to be confusion on how to handle the (almost) new crosswalk in front of Neosho High School. Given the confusion I’ve seen in the last week, I thought I’d take another stab at trying to explain how drivers should interpret the many light patterns displayed above Neosho Boulevard and help drivers get a better understanding of what is and isn’t permitted.
For a little background, the lights on the crosswalk really are no different than those we’ve grown up with as drivers at regular intersections. Flashing yellow always means be alert and use caution. A solid red always means stop and stay stopped. Flashing red always means stop, but proceed if the traffic (or crosswalk) is clear. The crosswalk lights send the same general message.
In the case of the crosswalk, let me give a little more detail:
Flashing yellow – The crosswalk system always alerts drivers by first flashing yellow lights. This is the indication to drivers that a pedestrian has requested to cross the street. Unless you’re already at the crosswalk at normal speeds, you need to prepare to stop.
I haven’t timed it, but don’t take a chance. Slow down and be ready. The yellow light soon will be followed by a solid red.
Solid red – This is the universal signal to stop. That stop is unconditional. Stay stopped until the solid-red light goes away – no ifs, ands or buts.
Solid red coincides with a “walk” signal indicating to the pedestrian that it is time to cross. As long as that light is solid red, do not move the vehicle.
Flashing red – depending on the number of pedestrians, the time necessary for cars to remain stopped will vary. The Missouri Department of Transportation knows this, so when a specific amount of time has passed, the solid red will move to flashing red.
At this point, the driver has some options. If anyone still is in the crosswalk, remain stopped. It’s no different than if a car was crossing.
If there are no more pedestrians present, proceed through the intersection. Anyone behind you must stop (just like at any intersection with a flashing red light). If it’s still clear, they may proceed. The process repeats itself until the flashing red light goes away and no lights remain illuminated.
Information signs don’t do a very good job of explaining to drivers exactly how it all works. With some additional information, however, more people will become accustomed to the crosswalk and its operations.
For our students, it’s a much safer option than they’ve ever had before. As with anything new and different, it will take a little time for everyone to settle in and understand it completely. I hope my explanation has helped clear up some confusion.
Public hearings for your city budget are set for 7 p.m. Tuesday night.
Good luck to the mighty Neosho Wildcats tonight as they take on the Logan-Rogersville Wildcats. Hope to see you tonight.
The opinions in this column are those of Mayor Richard Davidson and not necessarily of Neosho City Council. Davidson is a weekly columnist for the Daily News and is in his third term on council.