Madison Police Want Drivers, Pedestrians and Bicyclists to Be Alert This Season

UPDATED Wednesday, May 8, 2013--5:45p.m.
MADISON--" I try to get out daily," says bicyclist Dave Maercklein, who's visiting Madison. He says he's found area drivers to be pretty courteous. "I got to get used to riding in the city life," he said. "Now I got to watch for people, watch for traffic."

That's the kind of behavior city officials are hoping others mimic this spring. They're asking drivers to keep an eye out for pedestrians and bikers. "We've been getting a lot of complaints from pedestrians about motorist interaction with them," said Arthur Ross, the pedestrian and bicycle coordinator for the city. "As a driver when you see somebody ahead of you slow down and stop, that's not a cue to say 'why is that person slowing me down, I've got to get around them.' That's your cue to say 'I wonder why that person's slowing down, maybe I ought to slow down too until I know what's going on'."

Ross says it's important to know and follow the rules.
"It's not illegal to cross the street mid-block for example, it just changes the rules at a mid-block location," he said. " A pedestrian has to yield to the traffic on the street as opposed to the drivers on the street having to yield to the pedestrian at a cross walk."

Additionally, Ross says cross walks don't have to be marked.
"These two lines don't create the crosswalk," he said."The crosswalk is created simply by the existence of the sidewalk leading up to an intersection and the cross walk is merely the extension of that sidewalk across the street at an intersection whether it's marked or not."

Posted Wednesday, May 8, 2013 --- 11:36 a.m.

With warmer weather finally here, Madison Police want drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to be alert of each other in traffic.

According to officers, the city has received complaints about “near miss” pedestrian-involved crashes on streets such as Monroe St. and Williamson St.

Police want drivers to be aware of why others cars are stopping or slowing in front of them. They say you cannot pass until you are certain that it is safe to do so. This includes checking to see if there might be a pedestrian crossing the street. Many pedestrian crashes happen when the person steps out in front of a stopped vehicle, but another driver tries to pass.

Officers say it's also important that pedestrians walk defensively and cross streets at crosswalks. Here are some of their tips.

• Watch on-coming traffic.
• Raise your arm and point or wave at drivers to get their attention and indicate your intent to cross the street.
• Make eye contact with approaching drivers.
• Get a clear signal back from the driver that you have been seen and the driver will yield to you.
• Proceed with caution when drivers slow to yield or stop for you. Never step suddenly into on-coming traffic.
• Where there is more than one of lane of traffic to cross, while sheltered by the first driver who stopped to yield to you, use this procedure to communicate, make eye contact and gain the cooperation of drivers in the next lane.
• Follow this procedure for each lane of traffic you need to cross.
• Thank drivers for yielding.

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