Two recent reports to Halifax Council, one on the pros and cons of right turns on red, and another an update on the Vision Zero Framework, show that motorists are like royalty in the city, and vulnerable pedestrians are mostly on their own.
Martyn Williams: Seniors rely on walking or cycling for mobility because they may no longer drive for health reasons, or because it is the only way they can enjoy much needed exercise. But the infrastructure they use is built for vehicles to move quickly and easily, not to meet the safety requirements of vulnerable road users of all ages and abilities.
Martyn Williams writes a letter to city staff and councillors to plea for safer intersections for old people and people who live with disabilities. “This is not an issue where engineers may balance the cost to vulnerable road user lives against the benefit gained to traffic flow. It is a human rights issue that requires urgent action and intervention by leadership through appropriate policy.”
Martyn Williams writes the Halifax road safety steering committee after drivers killed 8 pedestrians on crosswalks since the beginning of 2018.
Martyn Williams: There were numerous core concerns raised by stakeholders and by design experts regarding Cogswell’s lack of connectivity, lack of character, and lack of genuine buy-in and involvement from the community and stakeholders. Now we must take time to reconsider Cogswell, before mistakes are made. The new Cogswell just exists on paper right now. Nothing is irreversible.
A 3-year construction-related closure of a Robie Street sidewalk will require either a long detour along Agricola, a very dangerous unmarked crosswalk crossing of Robie, or a one-kilometre detour along signalized crosswalks. That’s too hard for many people who are older or who live with disabilities, writes Martyn Williams.
On April 29 Martyn Williams sent an open letter to Jacques Dubé (Halifax CAO) and Brad Anguish (Director, Public Transportation and Works) expressing concern that genuine issues relating to social distancing rules and lack of space for pedestrians were not taken seriously by Halifax City Hall. Here is a further exchange between Brad Anguish and Martyn Williams.
City bureaucrats don’t want additional street space for pedestrians eager to follow social distancing rules.
Martyn Wiliams responds to every non-justification offered up by Halifax CAO Jacques Dubé and HRM Transportation director Brad Anguish.
Two recent crosswalk incidents, causing injuries and death respectively, were the result of drivers turning right on a red light. These were not the first, and they won’t be the last. It’s time to act, writes Martyn Williams.
Martyn Williams tackles the closures of pathways through places like Victoria Park and the Commons and the overeager enforcement by Halifax police. “It is absolutely the right thing to make sure our paths through parks can still be used for essential transport. The practice of fining people using them responsibly and safely for this purpose is completely unacceptable.”