The following remarks about the importance of street safety were read aloud by Mayor Conley at the Madison Borough Council meeting on July 22nd. You can find links to view the video and read the Madison Eagle article at the bottom of the page.
Mayor Conley: In light of the recent pedestrian fatality I want to take a few minutes to share the steps we are taking to make sure our town is as safe as possible for residents and visitors.
We are committed to taking public safety very seriously. Our Police Department is the single largest line in our budget with us spending over $6.3 million a year on operating expenses. We also have a Complete Streets Committee whose mission is to review road projects for complete design, not just for vehicles but also for bicyclists and pedestrians. The committee also reviews areas where safety concerns have arisen.
Some of the traffic and pedestrian safety actions we have recently taken include:
- We have replaced many of the older cobra-style mercury vapor street lights along east Main Street with brighter LED lights to increase visibility;
- We have installed traffic calming curb bump outs at Lincoln Place and Prospect, and on Greenwood. These have already shown their effectiveness with slowing traffic;
- We have installed a number of bike lanes throughout town which help slow down traffic and remind drivers to share the road;
- We are adding a radar sign (alerts drivers of their speed) on Green Avenue, has been very successful on Rosedale and Greenwood, and;
- We have installed pedestrian actuated crosswalk alert signals at Greenwood/Brittin, and Greenwood/Rosedale. Drive by and take a look, they are already making a difference at two of our more challenging intersections.
Safety and risk management are jobs that are never fully accomplished so in addition to the items I just mentioned above we will be implementing the following:
- This past spring, we engaged with TransOptions to launch the Street Smart program in Madison. As described on the TransOptions website “Street Smart is a public education, awareness and behavioral change campaign that uses high visibility enforcement, education, and grassroots public awareness to address pedestrian safety issues.” While with our commitment to safety we had already planned to launch this program in the fall, this tragedy has made it clear that in this day of distracted driving and activities this program will be invaluable
- Annually prior to the opening of school we review the vehicle and pedestrian safety around the schools. This year we will have a detailed review of the Green Village Rd corridor. With two schools and a church, this road needs extra attention.
- I have asked the Madison Police to have enhanced enforcement the first few weeks of school.
- The ‘report a traffic concern’ on Rosenet Citizen Request Tracker will be changed to ‘report a traffic or pedestrian safety concern’ so we can better engage residents and get their input.
- In addition to the Street Smart program, I have asked that we develop a full marketing campaign to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and that we use all of our social media and outreach platforms to spread the word. This will include Facebook posts, utility bill inserts, Nixle notifications and a new page on Rosenet that promotes pedestrian safety, highlights the ‘report a concern’ function and details some of the actions that the Complete Streets committee has taken to date.