The crosswalk signal at the corner of Bay and Carteret streets in Beaufort poses a serious threat to life.
I pushed the crosswalk signal this week, waited for the light on Carteret to turn red, and the crosswalk signal to illuminate "walk," and entered the crosswalk, only to have two separate cars rush around the corner from Bay Street and nearly run me over. The Bay Street traffic light had turned green.
I called the Beaufort Police Department to report the problem and received a return message on my answering machine. That corner has what they call a "permissible movement signal." This functionally means that although the walk signal illuminates, car traffic is not halted during the crosswalk signal.
The purpose of such crosswalks is to stop all traffic to protect pedestrians, as a trusted and safe method to cross. But in this case, pedestrians are lured into the crosswalk at this very busy corner with cars racing toward them. Shame on those who have chosen to allow cars to dominate and place unsuspecting children, the elderly and tourists in harm's way.
A local couple was recently seriously injured in a crosswalk near that very intersection, and while there are many new signs at other crosswalks downtown, this intersection remains a hidden danger and poses a deadly threat to all who use it.