Crosswalks and pedestrian safety

Crosswalks and pedestrian safety has been a hot issue this season. With the unfortunate accidents of Jasper & 119 St, as well as 95 Ave in Strathearn, it is clear that we must do more to create a conducive environment for both pedestrians and drivers alike. These issues are exceptionally apparent in Ward 8 with the high number of pedestrians, and it is a situation that I intend to improve.

The Transportation Association of Canada’s (TAC) Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide acts as a guideline for local governments to uniformly implement marked and signed crosswalks throughout the country. The guide considers the posted speed limit, cross section of the roadway, distance to the nearest alternate crossing, number and types of pedestrians, and vehicular volume, as indicators for the type of crosswalk to be installed. While these measurements are helpful, the trouble is that they do not take into account other things that are not as easy to measure.

There have been some problematic intersections that local residents have repeatedly raised concern over. In the past, we haven’t done much as the argument was they fit within the TAC standards. I strongly feel that we need to do better; go beyond the standards when the need calls, and incorporate residents’ knowledge into the mix.

Moving forward, Transportation Services will be assessing the major pedestrian corridors of Whyte Ave, 109 St, 104 Ave and Jasper Ave, and will be considering upgrades to older marked and signed crosswalks through these areas.

From a community side, we have grassroots work happening in Queen Alexandra through the coordination of QA Crossroads. The community will be undergoing neighbourhood renewal next year and the group is advocating that following rehabilitation, Queen Alexandra should have gone through more than just a facelift. This is an opportunity to make sure that the infrastructure is conducive for all modes of transportation, making it a more walkable, bikable, livable and safe neighbourhood for all.

Feel free to contact me at ben.henderson@edmonton.ca, call me at 780 496 8146, or follow me on Twitter, @ben_hen.

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