Grand Junction Reduces Speed Limit on 12th Street, What Is the Real Problem?
The city of Grand Junction is reducing the speed limit on12th Street, and I'm not sure if the problem is the pedestrians or the motorists.
Speed Limit Goes Down On 12th Street
Beginning Friday, January 21, the speed limit on 12th Street - as you drive past Colorado Mesa University - will be changed from 35 mph to 30 mph. The reduced speed limit is the solution reached by CMU and the city to address the concern of pedestrian safety on the busy Grand Junction street.
Pedestrian Safety Has Been Improved
CMU President John Marshall said in a statement "Improving pedestrian safety on 12th Street has been top of mind for us and many in our community." Rightfully so, the university is concerned for the safety and welfare of its students.
In recent years, pedestrian crosswalks with big yellow pedestrian signs and arrows and flashing lights have been installed at Bunting, Kennedy, and Mesa. Crossing pedestrians can activate the flashing lights, signaling motorists that someone is crossing. At that point, motorists are required to stop - and yield to the pedestrians. It has seemed like a great safety measure, but apparently, it's not enough.
What Exactly Is the Problem - Pedestrians or Motorists?
I've been observing the comments on social media about the situation and it's somewhat comical. Some people think the pedestrians are the problem calling them "cry baby jaywalkers" or "idiots" who press the button and start walking across without checking on incoming traffic. Others imply that all of the college students are walking around with their heads in their phones.
On the other hand, are motorists speeding down 12th Street above the posted 35 mph speed limit? Are motorists not yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk? Do some motorists, like some pedestrians, also have their heads dangerously in their phones as they are driving down 12th?
Some people have proposed building walking bridges over 12th Street or walkways under the road. One person suggested building a "new college that's not in the middle of town", while someone else suggested the city make the speed limit 10 mph so people would avoid that street entirely.
The debate will continue on exactly who is to blame for the perceived problem on 12th Street, and we certainly welcome your comments. Do you think the problem lies with the motorists or the pedestrians? Or is there no problem at all?
Just Slow Down
In the meantime, just do your part to watch out for pedestrians on 12th Street. Reducing the speed limit may or may not be the best solution, but, regardless, I doubt that going 5 mph slower for a few blocks isn't going to significantly or negatively impact anybody's life.
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