A new, fully-signalized intersection on North Street made its official debut Wednesday morning. A recently installed traffic signal at the Scull Creek Trail crossing is now fully-operational and ready for use. The signal has been in flash mode since Monday morning.
For drivers, the new rule is pretty simple – stop on red, go on green. Trail users are now required to stop and activate a push-button signal in order to get a green light.
Members of the Fayetteville Police Department were on the scene to help educate motorists and trail users on the new rules. Transportation staff were also on hand to talk to joggers, walkers and cyclists as they approached the road.
Jeff Coles, the city’s transportation manager, said things were going about as expected. In other words, some people already know what’s up, but others are still learning.
He said several joggers and cyclists have crossed the road without pushing the signal button and a few drivers had driven through the new red light.
Fortunately, he said, the biggest issue so far isn’t exactly a safety hazard.
“We’re seeing a lot of drivers who are still stopping for people who are waiting on the trail even though they’ve got a green light,” said Coles. “It’ll take a little time, but I think they’re figuring it out.”
The decision to add the new signal was driven by numerous complaints from both drivers and trail users who said the intersection was too confusing. A non-fatal accident in February in which a bicyclist was hit by a vehicle prompted a Street Committee safety review of the crossing.
The committee ultimately chose a fully-signalized setup.
“The push-button is a great idea,” said Ward 2 Alderman Matthew Petty. “That way, all the drivers know it’s a protected crossing and all the trail users know it’s a protected crossing.”