To the Editor:
I appreciate your coverage of traffic safety in our community. It is an important subject for us all.
With our local population growing and increased car traffic on our roads, pedestrian safety will only continue to be a concern for our community. I see and appreciate the efforts of Westfield and Union County to help protect our pedestrians, but I also note an important difference in the pedestrian lights now being installed. I will use two examples of each:
Several years ago pedestrian lights were installed on Central Avenue (to protect students crossing to attend Jefferson elementary school) and North Avenue (to protect shoppers crossing to shop at Lord & Taylor). Both of these lights flash yellow, then turn to solid red.
Recently two new crossing lights were installed: one on South Avenue (to protect commuters coming and going from the train station) and one on Raritan (to protect the student athletes crossing to Kehler Stadium). Both of these lights flash yellow ONLY.
This inconsistency is confusing to drivers; as a traffic light color, yellow is used to communicate caution, whereas red is used to communicate stop. Drivers are not conditioned to stop for a yellow light - even if it is flashing.
If we want to do a better job of protecting our pedestrians, it seems a first step is unifying the lights at these crosswalks ... before another mother, grandfather, or son is hit.