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Crosswalk Flags Installed Around Colusa Circle

Following a 10-year-old Kensington girl being hit in a Colusa Avenue crosswalk near Colusa Circle in October, the Kensington Hilltop Elementary School PTA installed crosswalk flags at several locations around the circle Sunday.

Bright orange crosswalk flags were installed on poles in the vicinity of Colusa Circle in Kensington Sunday, following an October accident in which a 10-year-old girl was hit by a car in a nearby Colusa Avenue crosswalk.

The idea is that a person entering the crosswalk picks up a flag on one side to be more visible to traffic and then leaves it in the container on the other side.

"Kensington Hilltop PTA invites everyone in the community to grab one or two flags when crossing the street as they might contribute to greater visibility," said Leslie Reckler, who heads the PTA's intersection flags projects.

The flags were paid for and sponsored by the PTA, which has previously installed crossing flags at several crosswalk intersections in Kensington, mostly around the school and some around Arlington Avenue, according to Reckler.

The PTA worked with the Contra Costa County Public Works Department, which takes care of streets in unincorporated Kensington, and secured permission to use the poles that hold street and traffic signs.

A Patch reporter Sunday saw six new containers for flags – four at corners around Colusa Circle and two near the crosswalk where the girl was hit.

The girl, a student at the Kensington school, was taken to a hospital after the accident, and her family told Patch that evening that she did not appear to have suffered serious injuries.

Each "flag" is not a conventional flag but consists of several plastic streamers attached to one end of a short stick.

"We'd like to thank everyone at Contra Costa Public Works and offer special appreciation to Gregory Stelzner and Monish Sen (of the Public Works Department) for their collaborative partnership!" Reckler said. 

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Jim Kirkpatrick January 14, 2013 at 03:35 PM
This is a good first response, thanks to all involved. May the editors put together an article concerning best practices and tips. A brief search turned up the following: http://www.techtransfer.berkeley.edu/tse/psa_handbook.pdf http://www.nhtsa.gov/Pedestrians Traffic Safety Facts - Pedestrians [August 2012] 4,280 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in 2010, a 4% increase from the number reported in 2009. Traffic Safety Facts - Children [July 2012] In 2010, an estimated 70,000 pedestrians were injured; 14,000 of those injured were age 14 and younger, and males accounted for 57% (8,000) of those injured.
evilincarKnit January 14, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Thank you, Leslie Reckler, for all your work to make our streets safer! I'm sure I speak for many fellow residents on Colusa when I say that the community really appreciates you!
Kathy A. January 14, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Yay for the PTA! These flags should help pedestrians be more visible to drivers. I suggest that everyone use them -- even big adults, and both day and night.
Al Miller January 14, 2013 at 08:24 PM
This is a great project. The first time I encountered pedestrian flags was when the Navy sent me to Japan in 1979. Almost all of the intersections in the part of Tokyo where my family lived had similar flags. And almost all of the people crossing the streets would take a flag, hold it high in the air, look both ways and cross the street safely. I just hope American drivers will honor them as well as the Japanese drivers do. Thanks, again to Leslie and the PTA.
Dorothy Coakley January 14, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Thanks so much for getting the flags installed. On Friday evening (Before Flags) three of us crossed Colusa heading toward the Pub. Two males, one female. All adults, all sober, all quick on our feet. Yes...a car on the roundabout almost hit us in the middle of the crosswalk. Would have, had we not scrambled to safety. Driver never slowed down. (Note to driver: iPhones snap license plate pictures easily. Be grateful, no injuries.)
Kathy A. January 14, 2013 at 11:17 PM
Like Al, my family lived in Japan for a year, courtesy of the USN. The flags were common, especially around schools, and in far less congested places than Tokyo.
Beth Weil January 14, 2013 at 11:56 PM
The flags are a good idea, but the only time I (riding in a wheelchair) was almost hit was at the corner of Stockton and San Pablo because the driver was turning onto San Pablo looking to see what was coming instead of the other way, which was me. In this instance, flags weren't the problem.
Toni Mayer January 15, 2013 at 05:18 AM
Scary, Dorothy! Glad you were all OK!

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