Pedestrians take safety in their own hands

Kery Murakami quotes me in an article in today's P-I. The article is about the people, including me, who put up and maintain buckets of pedestrian flags in Seattle.

I prefer the title of the print edition, "Pedestrians take safety in their own hands," to the online title which focuses on flag attrition. Flags disappear over time. That's inevitable but just part of the remarkably small expenses of flagging. And anyway, flag attrition seems to be falling over time, so the online title isn't really news.

Regardless, Kery's article is a good reflection of pedestrian flagging in Seattle, why people do it, and how it's working. People flag intersections because they seem to help, and we felt we needed to do something to make pedestrians safer. Nobody's in charge. Nobody called a meeting and got everyone to agree. People just took action. There is some communication between some of the people putting up flags, but it's sporadic. There is some sharing of technical information. Some flaggers talk to the City of Kirkland, which has been flagging crosswalks for ten years.

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