How Engineering Standards for Cars Endanger People Crossing the Street

Pedestrian crossings in cities should not be designed like Boston’s Landmark Interchange. (Source: Muddy River Associates)

​At the Landmark Interchange by Fenway Park in Boston, people trying to walk across the street sometimes have to wait as long as two minutes for a signal. And that, says Northeastern University Civil Engineering Professor Peter Furth, is dangerous. Two minutes is an unreasonably long time to ask someone to wait — especially in one of the nation’s most walkable cities. Faced with that delay, says Furth, people will try their luck crossing against the light. To compound the danger, the signal phasing that delays pedestrians is designed to speed cars.

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