Dangerous Crosswalks in Normal

By: Diane Benjamin

I’ve written before about a dangerous crosswalk on Raab Road: https://blnnews.com/2020/07/14/raab-road-is-a-death-waiting-to-happen/

The Town of Normal trains people on Constitution Trail to think vehicles will stop for them just because lines are painted on the road and there is a pole in the middle of the street. The Normal police had to do a video explaining the pole because it isn’t clear if and when vehicles need to stop. I got tired of searching for it on Normal’s website.

Here’s another story with a picture of the sign in the middle of the street: https://blnnews.com/2021/08/19/mia-common-sense-in-normal/

If you are traveling at 30 miles an hour, are you supposed to slam on your brakes at one of these or is the pedestrian responsible for making sure vehicles see them?

This week another graduate student at ISU died, this time because of a crosswalk. The pic below is from the satellite view of the area, it doesn’t show the crosswalk covering all 4 lanes of College where the accident happened. I have no idea when that crosswalk was painted, a source says the paint doesn’t look new. There are crosswalk signs on College, but there are no stop signs or traffic lights.

The same source tells me crosswalks are also painted on Main Street where there are no traffic signals. Evidently vehicles are suppose to see pedestrians and stop when necessary. Since the driver of the fatal accident was ticketed, it appears pedestrians have no responsibility to only cross when they are sure vehicles see them.

The driver was cited for failure to stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crosswalk.

Was a memorial for 23 year old Danielle Fairchild erected at the site? If one does materialize, is Normal going to remove it the way they did Jelani Day’s?

Painted crosswalks without any traffic control signals are accidents waiting to happen. Now we know they do, it’s tragic to lose this lady so young. Condolences to her family and friends, I know that isn’t enough.

Maybe Normal should apply for more underpass grants instead of painting crosswalks where no traffic signals exist. They are training people that personal responsibility is immaterial.









10 thoughts on “Dangerous Crosswalks in Normal

  1. They have now put up one of those stop for is stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk signs at that crosswalk.

    The problem is many college students don’t even care if there are cars coming they will just walk out into the street and expect expect people to stop. I’ve seen them do it go is going against the light at many of the intersections. I have had to slow down at a green light to let some of these people pass.

  2. Pedestrian friendly as promoted and advertised in Normal? Uhhh, but,,,we gotta save the money for more studies and stuff, we can’t be spending it on flashing yellow lights or anything sensible.

  3. That the Police published a PSA video about the confusing road crossing signs shows they recognized they caused a problem. That being said, I could see an argument for Normal’s unique and confusing signage being a contributing factor if one could prove the pedestrian ever used the trail or drove past one of the signs.

    Here is the Police PSA you were looking for…

  4. Trail crosswalks should have a sign facing those on the trail that says “don’t expect cars to stop”.

    1. ^ This. I’m pretty sure they do have stop signs facing those on the trail, but I’ve encountered many who don’t heed them and expect me to slam on the brakes.

  5. I travel that route daily. The next day as I approached, there were three lanes stopped for a pedestrian in the crosswalk, when a car passed in the fourth lane without slowing. Very dangerous!

    1. I got a few comments that aren’t posted because they attack me personally. Some people like to live in a fantasy world where drivers are 100% observant 100% of the time. Laws are immaterial if they are impossible to comply with. They probably think bikers have the right of way too, even if they don’t obey traffic laws.

  6. I park in the college ave parking deck daily crossing the street at college and broadway in the crosswalk you will be taking your life in your own hands, many of the cars heading east are traveling 45 to 50 miles per hour even though the cars are a block away if you step into the crosswalk you risk being hit. You may be right as right entering the crosswalk but you have a decision to make,do you feel lucky. I choose not to feel lucky and I do wait for the cars to pass.

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