BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Bridgeport officials are hoping yellow traffic flags will improve pedestrian safety in the city.
The pedestrian pilot flag program was launched Tuesday at a crosswalk in front of the Margaret Morton Government Center.
The goal is for a pedestrian to pick up a yellow flag before crossing the street, wave it at oncoming traffic to get cars to stop and then leave the flag on the other side after crossing.
The flag, which is placed by the crosswalk along with a sign detailing instructions, features the black silhouette of a man also holding a flag.
Since 2010, six pedestrians have been killed in Bridgeport.
“In Bridgeport and across Connecticut, too many pedestrians are killed or injured every single year,” Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said in a statement. “This pilot program is intended to serve as a test to see how we can improve pedestrian safety across the city.”
It’s been tried out in other cities, including Salt Lake City, Utah, Seattle, Washington and Austin, Texas. But many in Bridgeport wonder just how effective they’ll be.
“There are a lot of people who just assume because it is a crosswalk that they can walk at anytime and maybe the flag is going to even make them more brave,” one man told WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane. “I don’t know.”
The pilot program was championed by City Councilman James Holloway. If successful downtown, it could be expanded other areas in Bridgeport, the Connecticut Post reported.
In a statement, Police Chief Joseph Gaudett said the program “will be worth it if this project prevents one injury or death.”
The city has also stepped up traffic enforcement and is open to the installation of more speed bumps.
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