The crosswalk ... a safe haven for pedestrians? No.
In Atlanta the crosswalk means ... absolutely nothing, say it again.
A driver will actually yell at you if he has to stop for you in a crosswalk. If you'd like to safely cross in a crosswalk, then carry a white stick. Someone, might, might, stop for you. Oh and the cops don't enforce the laws here.
The cities in the US have forgotten that the pedestrian came before the car. That's not to say, you should step in front of a car but drivers should be respectful. The streets make a city, not the cars that drive on them.
I was in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin last weekend. The City Council wanted to block off the street every second Thursday to have a farmers market. It would also coincide with a concert series they have in a courtyard that faces the street. The Sheriff of the town agreed with their point of view, but would not allow it because the roads are intended for cars. The Sheriff is very mistaken.
The roads are for the people. There are many other ways around the town. In fact, the main state road diverts people around this main drag. On top of all of this, the stores on the main drag need business. A farmers market on the street could bring business to the stores on the same street.