Do you think our crosswalks are safe? If you answered yes, then are Durango’s crosswalks safe for everybody? At Durango High School, the freshman science class is testing speed, time and distance. We wanted to see if the time given on the crosswalks was enough time to get across, whether or not you are disabled. After collecting the data, we believe that the crosswalks are not safe.
First, we had to measure the distance of the crosswalk. Of course, we couldn’t just take a tape measure out and measure it. Instead, we measured a classmate’s stride at 2 meters. She took 27 steps to cross the street, with six seconds to spare. The crosswalks give you only 21 seconds, so we concluded that the crosswalk’s distance is about 13.3 meters. Then we went back into the school and in the hall we measured out 13.3 meters and timed how long it would take if you had to cross with crutches or a wheelchair. If you were crossing with crutches, it would take you about 36.5 seconds. If you were crossing in a wheelchair with someone pushing you it would take about 14.8 seconds, but if you were to push yourself, it would take about the same time as if you were using crutches.
Even though Durango residents may think our crosswalks are safe for everyone, we recognized that this is an incorrect supposition.
We should make our crosswalks have just a little more time, which would also even out the drivers’ time to go through the intersection. A second improvement that could be made is to install a handicap button to ensure more time for those who are disabled. The last improvement would be to make the crosswalks smoother and and more evened out to guarantee that all pedestrians will be able to cross safely.
Tanessa Farley & Molly Matava, ninth grade, Durango High School