Yet another pedestrian hit by a car on a marked crosswalk. Halifax decision-makers must wake up to a very obvious reality – vulnerable road user safety infrastructure at the most dangerous locations is essential, not optional.
Cities that prioritize the movement of people over cars truly benefit in all respects. This year’s theme for the United Nations Road Safety Week is 30 km/h speed limits by design and law on all roads where traffic and people mix.
“Senior after senior after senior, now eleven in a row, are being killed on urban crosswalks and roads that neglect to appropriately consider the needs of people who are slower movers…” The tireless Martyn Williams writes an open letter to the people who can and must fix this.
Signalized intersections are beyond doubt statistically the most dangerous place to cross the road, especially for people with mobility issues. The vast majority of signalized intersections in Halifax provide no dedicated infrastructure protection at all for pedestrians – just two faded white lanes and a legal right of way. Too many people have been killed there. Tell your councillor things must change.
We are accustomed to weave our way past turning drivers on signalized intersections with a mixture of luck and skill. Signalized intersections are known to be treacherous for vulnerable road users and account for around 40% of pedestrian incidents within the municipality. Yesterday a 75 year-old citizen of Halifax was left with life threatening injuries after being struck on a crosswalk by the driver of a truck.
The Nova Scotia government is asking for public feedback by January 8 on 65 pages of regulations which will dictate how roads should be used by the public, and also potentially allow for some safer controls and infrastructure for vulnerable road users. Martyn Williams has some excellent suggestions.
Martyn Williams: 2020 has been yet another year marked and marred by vulnerable road user fatalities, all of them seniors. An urban or suburban community that can’t support people to move around safely without a car cannot function. People with disabilities, children and seniors in particular are placed in the unwilling position of performing dangerous stunts, using crosswalks that do not meet their unique needs and abilities.
Martyn Williams: A serious incident on a marked crosswalk earlier this week during evening darkness raises several questions. We have known for some time that faded paint and an overhead sign with no flashing lights are woefully inadequate for a main road that likely sees average traffic speeds in excess of 50 km/h, says a lawyer who lives in the area.
With eight incidents involving pedestrians between October 19 and 27 Halifax isn’t getting safer, no matter what councillors tell us. The city’s approach needs an overhaul, involving genuine participation by the community and clearly identifying and prioritizing those most prejudiced by unsafe conditions – children, the disabled, people of colour, seniors and residents in areas of affordable housing, often next to arterial roads, writes Martyn Williams.
Martyn Williams, on behalf of the group HRM Safe Streets for Everyone, has written a Councillors survival guide to safer streets and traffic. It targets mayor and council hopefuls, but it is also useful to residents as it sets out the issues, and what councillors can do to resolve them. It’s a comprehensive guide, and, much like Martyn’s articles, the product of meticulous research.