Downtown Pedestrian Safety

feet first in scarves

This holiday season, whether you are driving or walking, spread some holiday cheer by helping to keep the City of Fredericksburg’s roadways safe for everyone. The City is committed to increasing pedestrian safety. Several pedestrian and traffic safety initiatives have been implemented over the last few years to include the installation of mid-street Yield to Pedestrian signs across the City, painting highly visible "ladder" crosswalks, and the addition of state-of-the-art "countdown" pedestrian signals at high-traffic intersections. As the City continues to resurface roadways, the City will make improvements at high-traffic intersections. These projects demonstrate the City’s commitment to make Fredericksburg a more pedestrian-friendly community. However, the City needs help from drivers and pedestrians in their effort to increase pedestrian safety.

Did you know? Virginia law requires motorists to yield the right of way to any pedestrian crossing a highway at any clearly marked crosswalk. However, pedestrians are prohibited from entering or crossing an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic. This means that both motorists and pedestrians should be on "high alert" when approaching a street crossing. Even then, the pedestrian should wait to cross until it’s obvious the driver is going to stop. In a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian, there are no clear winners. However, some will lose to an even greater degree than others. We can all be winners if we remember the three C’s: Caution, Courtesy, and Common Sense.

A presentation by Assistant City Manager, Doug Fawcett to City Council on October 8, 2019 discussed the current and potential pedestrian and traffic safety measures being implemented in the City.  Mr. Fawcett's presentation includes information on downtown crosswalk signs, five new traffic signals,  LPI crosswalks, continental crosswalks, radar feedback signs, and traffic calming bump outs and speed tables. He also reviewed improvements planned for upgraded bicycle and pedestrian corridors. 

The Role Everyone Can Play in Improving Safety

Drivers

  • Be on high alert in heavy pedestrian areas
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks (It’s the law!)

Pedestrians

  • Cross only at crosswalks (or at nearest intersection if no crosswalk nearby)
  • Never enter the travel lane from between parked cars
  • Do not assume a driver has seen you; Make eye contact with the driver before entering the travel lane
  • Be a “Defensive Walker”