South Florida

Pedestrians Wave Flags on Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale

Pedestrians in Fort Lauderdale are trying a new way to cross busy Las Olas Boulevard. They're waving orange flags at motorists.
Last month, the city placed a bucket of the neon flags at the intersection of Las Olas Boulevard and Southeast 13th Street in the city's entertainment district as part of a test project to improve safety. The idea is for pedestrians to step into the crosswalk, make eye contact with drivers and wave the flag.

"I saw someone use a flag for the first time and I was like 'what is that for?'" said Eric Baider, who works at a nearby restaurant. "It's going to be so weird. I mean, where else do you see someone on Las Olas waving an orange flag across the street?"
The Miami Herald reports the idea has been tried in other cities - including Seattle, St. Paul, Minnesota and Berkeley, California - but it's a new concept in South Florida.

Seattle later dropped the program after people kept stealing the flags. Berkeley stopped it after finding few pedestrians used the flags and even fewer used them properly.

Three of the four flags were stolen shortly after the program launched in Fort Lauderdale, but they were replaced. The city purchased 15 flags at $60.

So far, there are no plans to expand the program.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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