There’s a new addition along Ocean Boulevard in Coronado: bulb-outs jutting from sidewalks at crosswalks, which were completed last summer.
They’re a safety feature; by extending the sidewalk, pedestrians entering the crosswalk are more visible to cars who must yield to them. Without the bulb-outs, parked cars block pedestrians and the crosswalks themselves are less visual. The United States Department of Transportation reports that bulb-outs and other traffic-calming techniques decrease pedestrian collisions.
Recently though, a post and ensuing discussion on a Coronado Facebook group raised questions of safety for cars or cyclists who might hit the bulb-outs, especially when there are no parked cars.
As for Coronado’s bulb-outs, there have been no reported accidents involving a vehicle or bicyclist striking one them, according to Andrea McCullough, Communications & Engagement Officer for the City of Coronado. The city is currently looking into improvements to increase nighttime visibility of the bulb-outs.
A Transportation Research Record study found that cities with these features experienced lower vehicle speeds and increased the number of pedestrians who crossed in a designated crosswalk. However, high-visibility crosswalks – including raised pathways and flashing lights – yielded the best safety outcomes, researchers found.