Monday, November 30, 2015


Abingdon Police Department

For Immediate Release

New Crosswalks on West Main Street

The Town of Abingdon Public Services and Construction department has installed two new crosswalks at the request of the Town Council. These crosswalks are to improve pedestrian safety in the area of West Main Street between Porterfield Highway/Route 19 and Academy Drive. The new crosswalks are located at the intersection of West Main Street and Patton Street and the intersection of West Main Street and Preston Street. These crosswalks will serve as more noticeable crossings to enhance walk ability and pedestrian safety. The safety improvements at each location will include new crosswalk markings, ADA complaint curb ramps, and a pedestrian refuge island within the turn lane at the Patton Street crosswalk.

The Abingdon Police Department wants to remind everyone of the state code and provide helpful hints with regards to the new crosswalks. Virginia code provides specific guidance for pedestrians. Please review the state code, and these helpful hints, before you venture out on your next pedestrian adventure.

The Code of Virginia regulates pedestrian actions by the following code sections:

§ 46.2-923 How and where pedestrians to cross highways.
When crossing highways, pedestrians shall not carelessly or maliciously interfere with the orderly passage of vehicles. They shall cross, wherever possible, only at intersections or marked crosswalks. Where intersections contain no marked crosswalks, pedestrians shall not be guilty of negligence as a matter of law for crossing at any such intersection or between intersections when crossing by the most direct route.

§ 46.2-926 Pedestrians stepping into highway where they cannot be seen.
No pedestrian shall step into a highway open to moving vehicular traffic at any point between intersections where his presence would be obscured from the vision of drivers of approaching vehicles by a vehicle or other obstruction at the curb or side. The foregoing prohibition shall not apply to a pedestrian stepping into a highway to board a bus or to enter a safety zone, in which event he shall cross the highway only at right angles.

§ 46.2-928 Pedestrians not to use roadway except when necessary; keeping to left.
Pedestrians shall not use the roadways for travel, except when necessary to do so because of the absence of sidewalks which are reasonably suitable and passable for their use. If they walk on the hard surface or the main travelled portion of the roadway, they shall keep to the extreme left side or edge thereof, or where the shoulders of the highway are of sufficient width to permit, they may walk on either shoulder thereof.

Helpful Hints:

·         Always cross at marked crosswalks. Pedestrians forfeit their rights as a pedestrian if they cross elsewhere.
·         If a crosswalk is unavailable, be sure to find a well-lit spot on the road to cross and wait for a long enough gap in traffic to make it safely across the street.
·         Stay on sidewalks whenever possible. If a sidewalk is not available, be sure to walk on the far side of the road facing traffic. This will help increase your visibility to drivers and afford pedestrians with the opportunity to take evasive actions if needed.
·         Obey any pedestrian signs/signals and look left-right-left to make sure the road is clear in both directions before crossing.
·         Always make eye contact with drivers of stopped or slowing vehicles to be sure they see you before you cross.
·         Look before walking past stopped vehicles. Do not cross just because a driver waves you on. Be sure all lanes are clear first.
·         Remember that vehicles are legally obligated to stop for pedestrians once you are in the crosswalk.  Do not infer that drivers have to stop simply because you are standing on the sidewalk waiting to cross.

·         Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections.
·         Be prepared to stop at all marked crosswalks. Stay alert and reduce speed in areas with crosswalks.
·         Come to a complete stop if pedestrians are crossing or preparing to cross.
·         When you are stopped at a crosswalk, allow enough room between your vehicle and the crosswalk so other drivers can see the pedestrians you have stopped for.
·         Wait until pedestrians have crossed at least one lane past the lane you are in before resuming travel.

·         Never pass another vehicle that has stopped or is slowing down at a crosswalk.

Pictured Above: New Crosswalk at West Main Street and Patton Street

Pictured Above: New Crosswalk at West Main Street and Patton Street

Pictured Above: New Crosswalk at West Main Street and Patton Street

Pictured Above: New Crosswalk at West Main Street and Patton Street

Pictured Above: New Crosswalk at West Main Street and Preston Street

Pictured Above: New Crosswalk at West Main Street and Preston Street

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