As part of the Mercer Corridor Project, the east crosswalk at Westlake Ave is closed.
While there is not currently any construction in this area, a few weeks ago, the crosswalk signals were covered and large “CROSSWALK CLOSED” signs were placed on each side of Mercer.
SDOT has not returned an email requesting comment on the closure.
Vehicle traffic has been rerouted as part of the construction project and now a high volume of traffic is turning left onto Mercer from southbound Westlake.
It’s not clear exactly why the crosswalk is closed or how long it will be in place.
Perhaps the crosswalk was closed to make it easier for vehicles to turn, as now there is more vehicular traffic passing through the intersection.
This closure probably has good intentions, however they are not apparent to people in the area. Safety is a key consideration for any traffic flow change, however closing this crosswalk may in fact be making the intersection more dangerous.
As with most sidewalk and crosswalk closures, a significant number of people are ignoring SDOT’s attempt to close the crosswalk and are crossing when traffic has the green light. It does not appear that SDOT has a plan to address the danger created for these pedestrians who choose to cross without a crosswalk signal.