PURCELLVILLE, Va. May 2, 2017— The Town of Purcellville is pleased to announce a new pilot program that is intended to enhance pedestrian visibility and safety. This program uses “Pedestrian Crosswalk Flags” to give pedestrians an additional way to signal their intent to cross a roadway. This pilot program is located at the two crosswalk locations on Main Street at its intersection with N. 21st Street. The Town Council initiated this new public safety pilot program based on the successful use of this idea in communities throughout the country.
At these two crosswalks, pedestrian flags have been placed in a holder that is mounted to the crossing sign. As shown in the photograph below and described with signage at each location, the pedestrian should take a flag and signal intent to cross the roadway. Once the driver of the approaching vehicle has acknowledged and stopped, the pedestrian should cautiously cross while carrying the flag, making sure to also ensure traffic from the other direction has similarly stopped. Once the pedestrian has completed crossing the road, please be sure to replace the flag in the holder for use by the next pedestrian.
The Town reminds citizens that flags are only a safety measure, and we always recommend to look both ways before stepping into a crosswalk, make good eye contact with drivers, and have the driver’s attention before crossing the roadway. It is the pedestrian’s responsibility to ensure that a driver can safely stop his or her vehicle before the pedestrian enters a crosswalk.
The Town also asks our residents and our motorists to always be on the lookout for pedestrians in our roadways. It is a state law that drivers must stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk. Over the past few months, the Public Works Department has upgraded signs at crosswalk locations throughout the Town to enhance awareness of pedestrians. In addition, the Purcellville Police Department has been focusing efforts on pedestrian safety and will be ticketing drivers who fail to yield. Through this new pedestrian flag program, the Town believes that pedestrian visibility and safety will be increased.
The Town will be working with local groups to develop a safety video to demonstrate proper use of the flags and safety practices for crossing busy roadways. In addition, based on the success of this pilot program, additional locations for pedestrian flags may be added in the coming months.
If you have any questions, please contact the Public Works Department at (540) 338-5024.