To Improve Pedestrian Safety, Seattle removes crosswalks.

After a spate of pedestrian deaths at crosswalks in recent years, the city of Seattle has decided it is safer to remove cross walks.

Bumper to Bumper
Disappearing crosswalk A growing "rush hour"

By Charles E. Brown
Seattle Times staff reporter

Marked crosswalks can create a false sense of safety for pedestrians, and removing those crosswalks indicates that those places are not preferred places to cross, says department spokesman Gregg Hirakawa. When a driver stops for someone crossing a busy four-lane street, a second driver could roll by in the next lane and hit the pedestrian.

By state law, however, every intersection is an "unmarked" crosswalk. So, it's still OK — and legal — to cross there, Hirakawa says.

Basically, marked crosswalks will become unmarked crosswalks because it's safer that way. Why is it safer? Because pedestrians will not think it's safe.

I'm not sure if this is incredibly brilliant or incredibly stupid. But I don't see drivers stopping for pedestrians at unmarked crosswalks any more than they did at marked ones.

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