I live near 17th and Fitzgerald, which had a three-car accident followed by a four-car accident the following day just a week before work started on the Fifth Street Bridge.
I see people on their electric scooters not even stop at these intersections and claim the right of way. Many times I have been able to touch the cars that graze by me while I am crossing, because of vehicles not paying attention at the intersections (mostly people on their cell phones).
Now with the construction on Fifth, a single car pulls up to turn as the light is green (which is legal), didn’t have any time or opening to make it across when the light turned yellow, so they were stuck in the middle during the red and end up getting a ticket.
Sometimes they make it into another makeshift lane but basically we have now three lanes in front of 17th and cars unable to cross when the light turned green the other way as well. Traffic was backed up to 13th Street on Fitzgerald one way and even further on cliff, as were the other roads.
Pedestrians couldn’t even get across without dodging traffic and risking being hit. I wondered what would happen if there was an emergency.
So, I was one of the callers that complained because I feel the City could have made preparations ahead. In my opinion this traffic was dangerous to pedestrians and seriously negligent.
Why was there no traffic control plan in place to prevent the backup? I called the police, thinking they did traffic and crowd control in cities or following events but was told this is the City’s duty and to call them instead.
I called the City and was transferred to a tape recording, so I left a message saying people couldn’t even cross the street and that I would go to the news with photos.
By the time I tried to return home, the traffic lights were out staying a solid red so no one really could tell they were out. I called the City again and crews responded fairly quickly.
Fortunately this four-way stop system allowed for the traffic to flow but it was scary to watch.
The news reported that the lights were adjusted to meet the traffic flow needs after the complaints, but I wonder how many people get tickets now for being caught in the middle at a red light.
I think the only reason pedestrians were not hit is because traffic was mostly at a stop so we could zig zag around the vehicles.
I hope people don’t modify their route by using the alleys at full speed as they did before; you still have to get on the main roads at some point.
Thank you to all the people who let me and the neighbors in and out of our parking spots. I only had one person mouth me off last time the traffic was bad and it was not even busy that time. You’re all wonderful for being considerate to people who live near these intersections.