Are there traffic safety issues for pedestrians along Lake Road near Woodbury High School?
The parents of a Woodbury High School student who was recently hit by a car while crossing the busy street think so.
The Dec. 23 edition of the Woodbury Bulletin featured a story on the traffic situation around Woodbury High School, specifically regarding the intersection of Lake Road and Wyndham Way, where the ninth grader was hit by a vehicle Dec. 7 as he was crossing the street on the way home from school.
The student told police the woman who hit him asked him if he was okay and then left the scene without informing police.
The reaction of the driver (it’s illegal to leave the scene of a personal injury accident) who hit the student could be a topic of discussion all on its own.
But the question that these parents are asking (and others have asked in the past) is How safe is the Lake Road/Wyndham Way intersection for pedestrians?
To get some first-hand knowledge of the issue, last week I parked near the intersection and witnessed just how it functions for automobiles and pedestrians around 3 p.m. just as school is ending for the day at Woodbury High School.
What did I see?
Well, first off the posted speed limit is 35 mph, but on the day I went out to observe the traffic conditions I personally witnessed the flow of traffic east of Woodlane Drive was more like 40-45 mph, with some cars pushing 50 mph.
It’s no secret that many drivers drive at above the posted speed limit. Most cars did slow down for pedestrians as they crossed the Lake Road even though most of the students I observed crossing the street at Lake Road and Wyndham Way did not use the marked crosswalk.
In fact, in the 45 minutes I spent observing the intersection a single pair of students used the official crosswalk to cross Lake Road. The other two dozen or so students crossed on the west side of the intersection.
There were quite a few times where students would time the traffic patterns and run across the intersection to beat the oncoming vehicles. Other times the students would walk across the road as cars would slow for them, although this was task was accomplished outside the crosswalk markings.
A few times vehicles chose not to slow down and drove past the students as they were crossing the road.
One can easily understand why students chose not to take the time to use the crosswalk markings while crossing the road. The park path that leads from the school campus to Lake Road is along the west side of Wyndham Way.
Why cross the street more times than you have to? might be the mentality many of us take on when playing the role of pedestrian. The goal might be take on the most efficient path to our destination.