East and South Austin pedestrians have had some safety-enhancing additions to their neighborhoods that could save lives. Austin Transportation installed several new pedestrian crossing islands in both areas this summer.
Pedestrian crossing islands offer benefits to street safety and ease of locomotion in a number of ways. They shorten crossing distances, enabling people to cross one vehicle travel lane at a time, enhance visibility by drawing attention to street crossing areas, help slow down vehicles, and increase the likelihood that drivers will yield to people crossing streets.
The new islands on Wickersham Lane in the East Riverside-Oltorf neighborhood are located near Sheringham Drive, Cromwell Circle, and Oltorf Street. The Oak Springs Drive crossings are sited near Webberville Road, Tillery Street, Gunter Street, and Mercer Drive in the Rosewood area.
Austin Transportation and Austin Public Works design and install islands where they are expected to improve the experiences of people crossing, whether at an intersection or mid-block. Crossing islands are part of a number of projects approved in 2016 mobility bond and 2018 bond elections, including Bikeways, Safe Routes to School, and Vision Zero/Transportation Safety programs.