Palm Springs crosswalk problems
A nationally accepted standard for
markings tend to direct drivers into opposite lane of traffic at least at
one intersection in the resort city
When drivers are facing west on East El Alameda at Palm Canyon Drive
they see the following. This is from my Jeep Wrangler about where a car
would be turning left. Wranglers are higher up, thus from this height
you can see better the middle yellow divider and the triangles look a
bit more like a yield sign. From the level of a low car which is what
most people drive, they look even more like arrows.
An update was made by December 2018 to
correct this problem - see image showing the change
further down the page.
The triangle shapes can be confused with arrows pointing in the
direction of traffic flow. I have seen on two Sundays in a row drivers
turn left and go directly into this lane which is the wrong way at is
for northbound traffic. The triangles are a "yield line" supposed to
look like the shape of standard yield signs. These lines are a standard
"guideline" which means it's not mandatory by federal standards, but in
California which typically goes beyond such guidelines, they made it the
rule. This rule is dangerous as the city of Palm Springs feels it has to
adopt it otherwise they would be bothered by the state agencies that
would force them to do it this way. It seems the state is unaware of
this issue. I have contacted the city and discussed this matter with the
assistant traffic engineer there who stated he has only been working
there a month or so. We were both looking at a Gooble map as reference
and noticed that a few blocks south there is also one of these yield
lines which are put before crosswalks to tell drivers where to stop the
car and we noticed a long arrow painted either above or below it showing
traffic flow. If these are used it should be a rule that there be these
flow arrows. That would help, but really I think these lines are
ridiculous. They look more like an artsy expression of a line that would
be on a gift box. Sure we can learn that they are yield lines but with
the chance for confusion that can cause a head on collision they should
be banned. I am in the process of assembling my views on this matter to
send to the appropriate departments for the state and federal traffic
written by Kenneth Wegorowski on October 18, 2018
Here is a view of the intersection with the crosswalk as a driver
approaches it facing south. This is just above the central part of Palm
Springs hub of activity downtown known as the north end. The yield line
on this side can be seen. The left side street is East El Alameda where
a driver would wait for traffic to clear to make a left (or right) turn.
It is difficult for such drivers to see far down Palm Canyon as often
there are parked cars. When there are no cars seen immediately (in front
of corner florist shop) it driver can tend to look at the road as the
going one way when they notice what seems like 8 triangle pointers
telling them that is the direction of flow. In the first image above you
can see from the drivers point of view that there is no car parked close
to that corner that would help them realize traffic flow, they see
prominently the 8 triangle pointers.
Notice in the above photo for traffic flowing southbound as the car at
the crosswalk is heading, that the center double yellow line (actually
little line is left only raised yellow buttons) that the line is
straight. Here when this intersection had added the special crosswalk
signal flashers controlled by pedestrians you can also notice the
sidewalks were extended out toward the lanes with handicap ramps.
UPDATE January 29, 2019
After discussing with the city representative a change was made, here is
now it looks now.
Directional arrows were added ensuring that the drivers see that those
two lanes are flowing northbound. This makes it very clear so there
should never be any confusion.
At another crosswalk further north
A more recent installation at Stevens just south of Vista Chino presents
an odd change in design, the traffic now flows (when heading south) in
such a way as being diverted into opposing traffic whereas the line
shifts to the east then back to the west where it straightens out again.
This design shocked me when I first drove on it. I wondered "Oh My God
why are they directing traffic into the opposing traffic!!!" Is this
another wacky "traffic calming" effect? I have serious reservations
about the trend now in place for so called traffic calming measures
which in my opinion often can create hazards that did not exist prior.
This I believe is one of those hazards. I will add a photo of this