Dangerous Broadway pedestrian crossing gets safety update

Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 10:00pm
Jude Ferrara/SouthComm

So far in 2010, Davidson County has seen 14 pedestrians killed by motorists. Officials hope that the county’s newest pedestrian crosswalk — a futuristic thing, really — will prevent future accidents.

Recently, Gannett Corp., working in tandem with Metro Public Works, installed massive streetscape hardware at the long-standing pedestrian crosswalk “connecting” 1100 Broadway with a surface parking lot next to the Exxon Tiger Mart. Visitors to the building and some staff working for Gannett’s Metromix, Nashville Lifestyles and The Tennessean park in the lot.

The installation follows 88 traffic violations — 16 of which involved vehicle damage, according to Metro police statistics — in 2010 within that block of Broadway.

“Since moving into the building earlier this year, the only negative has been the dangers of crossing that street, especially at night,” said Stacie Standifer, Nashville Lifestyles editor and publisher.

Standifer said it is “amazing” how many motorists not only fail to yield to pedestrians but actually exceed the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit along the bustling segment of Broadway.

The pedestrian crossing project is unusual in that it involves both large-scale hardware that extends over the street and a sign bearing the prominent wording “State Law: Yield To Pedestrians.” Gwen Hopkins-Glascock, public works spokeswoman, said Davidson County has fewer than 20 “mid-block” crossings, which are found at non-intersections that don’t have traffic signals.

“Most are on low-volume, low-speed roadways,” she said.

Hopkins-Glascock said the area “has been of concern to public works” for years.

The crosswalk is near the Exxon, a McDonald’s drive-thru, a Firestone and the Interstate 40-65 access ramps, all of which are vehicle-heavy entities.

“The crosswalk has been in place for a long time, but given its close proximity to the signalized intersection [at 12th and Broad] and the fact it’s a busy seven-lane street, drivers tend to be less vigilant,” Hopkins-Glascock said.

Metro police statistics show Davidson County recorded 12 pedestrian deaths in 2009. Broadway has seen no fatalities this year. 

Filed under: City News

6 Comments on this post:

By: 742180 on 11/29/10 at 9:12

Cars Kill!! I am continually amazed at how pedestrians and bicyclist challenge automobiles for right of way. It's a death wish to assume that the person driving that auto has the intelligence to do so or to assume that the person driving is paying attention to traffic.

This article suggests that 'drivers fail to yield' to pedestrians at this crossing. Yeah, slam on the brakes to allow some DA to cross and get rear ended. It is a crossing in the middle of a through-fare where there is no traffic signal, no reason to expect to stop.

It is insanity for ped's and bikers to continually play 'chicken' with a two thousand pound automobile hurtling along at 30 plus mph. But, lets not make them assume responsibility for their actions, lets blam it on the other guy.

By: delltechkid on 11/29/10 at 9:44

74180, in most cases it is the drivers fault when a pedestrian is killed. Whether you like it or not, the law says you must stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Period. All of the gibberish you've rattled off doesn't matter because the law says you have to stop.

At that intersection, I'm sure people look before crossing the street. The problem is most cars through there do not drive 30. So I'd say it's difficult for a pedestrian sometimes to judge how far away a car is since most people don't drive the correct speed.

There's plenty of visibility there for you to see any pedestrians that walk out into the road and stop accordingly. If you get rear ended, that's the other driver's fault, not the pedestrian's.

By: judyboodo@yahoo.com on 11/29/10 at 12:45

Worst thing the Legislature ever did was give bicyclists the same rights as cars. It made them to bold for their own good.

By: jmtrue on 11/29/10 at 6:48

The law is the law and I'd hope that people follow it as stated. However, it doesn't mean it's a smart law. That crosswalk needs to be completely removed or it needs an actual STOP light (although I'd vote for the former - other opportunities to cross close by).

I drive through that intersection (if you can call it that) two times every day, one time being at dark, and it is NOT always easy to see the pedestrians, especially at night and during rush.

You would be hard pressed to find another crosswalk like that on a 7 lane road and there's a reason for that... it's not safe regardless of how it's marked!!! Normally you'd only find crossings like this on a 2 or 3 lane road where they're actually feasible.

So... remove the crosswalk completely and, pedestrians, please go to a proper crosswalk at a proper traffic intersection like 12th and Broadway. No sympathy here... many of us walk MUCH further to get to/from our cars at work.

By: WayneR on 11/30/10 at 8:17

I am never surprised by the people who think it is fine to argue their "right-of-way" from a hospital bed. What nonsense.


By: kulloo on 12/1/10 at 7:55

There was this guy named Mike O'Day who died maintaining his right-of-way, his way was right, his will was strong, but he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong!!!