Perhaps no urban area has more reckless inconsiderate drivers than Fairfax when it comes to pedestrian safety. Cars routinely whiz past pedestrians in crosswalks, even when they are stranded in the middle of the street.
Although the county has spent at least $48 million on pedestrian safety programs, there’s little evidence that money has had much effect, critics say.
Don Nichols of Burke finds the situation depressing and dangerous. In this video, he demonstrates the difficulty of crossing Burke Lake Parkway, a busy multi-lane street that runs through his neighborhood.
“It isnâ€™t a new story that traffic doesnâ€™t stop at clearly designated crosswalks, even when people are clearly standing in the crosswalk trying to cross, but it is one that we could do something about,” Nichols said. “I wonâ€™t presume to identify the best solution, but each crosswalk on Burke Center Parkway has signs like the one shown in the video. They are almost always ignored, and not apparently enforced. They do not effectively protect public safety.”
While the situation irks pedestrians, it doesn’t seem to make much of an impression on the Fairfax County Police, whose occasional pedestrian safety campaigns are aimed largely at telling pedestrians to use crosswalks.
Instead of sitting in their cars aiming radar guns out the window, perhaps plainclothes police officers could occasionally get out and try to cross the street? They might find the results interesting.