Saturday 19 June 2021

Pedestrians “Not” A Priority At Traffic Lights: MOPT

 FOTO :MELISSA FERNÁNDEZ
FOTO :MELISSA FERNÁNDEZ

COSTA RICA JOURNAL – Most roads in the downtown area of San José are not wide, so the time allowed by traffic signals to walk across the busy roads is sufficient in most cases. However, two traffic lights pose challenges to pedestrians: the one in front of the Hospital San Juan de Dios, on Paseo Colón and at the corner of the of the General Cemetery on Avenida 10.

The challenge is even greater for those with difficulty in movement, such as the elderly and people with disabilities.

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The timing at traffic lights is about 30 seconds, 10 seconds more than the average time for a pedestrian to cross a 10 metre (33 feet) roadway. That figure is according to the MOPT that estimates a person with impaired mobility needs about 2 seconds for every metre.

A panoramic view of the intersection in front of the San Juan de Dios hospital.
A panoramic view of the intersection in front of the San Juan de Dios hospital.

However, at the two aforementioned traffic lights, there two serious problems: one, the street is wider than 10 metres, and second, priority is for vehicular traffic and not pedestrians.

According to José Roldán, head of traffic lights at the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT), traffic on Paseo Colón and Avenida 10 – two major routes into downtown San José and points east – is heavy and priority is given to vehicles and not pedestrians.

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The daily traffic situation on Paseo Colón into downtown San José
The daily traffic situation on Paseo Colón into downtown San José

This rationale could almost work for the Cemetery traffic light, where pedestrian traffic is normal to low. Buut, in front of the San Juan de Dios its another matter, where there is a constant heavy flow of pedestrians moving to and from the hospital’s main entrance and emergency department, as pedestrians cross to get to and from several major bus routes and parking lots.

Roldán assures that the traffic light in front of the hospital has 10 seconds added to the clock. But is it enough? And how much is enough and not affect the already congested vehicular traffic through the area?

Use the comments below to gives us your opinion.

Source: with notes from Ahora.cr; Costaricahighways.com; Solidamerica.com

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FACT CHECK:
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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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