No Turn on Red Added to Dangerous Intersection

The city has recently installed No Turn on Red signs at the dangerous intersection of Reservoir Rd. and Wisconsin Ave. This is a much needed improvement to a location that is very dangerous for pedestrians.

The signs control traffic coming eastbound on Reservoir and coming southbound on Wisconsin:

Right turns on red at this intersection put pedestrians at a lot of risk, especially for turns off Reservoir. That’s because drivers approach a red here and only look to the left, waiting for a gap in traffic to gun it. Pedestrians approaching from the right–who have the crossing light no less–are walking into a death trap unless they take the step to actually make eye contact with the driver. You shouldn’t need to do that simply to cross the street safely. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been hit by drivers in this exact situation.

This change comes ahead of the city moving to ban right on reds across the city by 2025. It’s probably a testament to the hazard that this intersection presents that DDOT decided to move ahead with this change two years ahead of the city-wide ban.

Of course the next challenge is enforcement. Spot enforcement would be a start, but camera enforcement will probably be necessary to really start getting the message across that you’ll have to just wait for the green when driving through this intersection. Surely those seconds will tick away like minutes for drivers accustomed to zooming through this intersection. But those seconds are nothing compared to the lives that could be lost if this danger remains.

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