Martyn Williams: The Coronavirus crisis has brought to the forefront a perennial problem often swept under the carpet or pegged for gradual street redesigns over decades: How can we enable pedestrians of all ages and abilities to move around safely?
Martyn Williams: “People will need more space and new measures to be able to walk safely and responsibly. A change to our spatial priorities will help bring home the message that everyone should keep a safe two-metre distance from others, without the need for large fines that few can afford to pay.”
There are so many concrete things HRM could and should do to make this city safer for all, but HRM rather focuses on “raising awareness,” writes Martyn Williams.
Yesterday two pedestrians were hit in full daylight in Halifax, the first resulting in life threatening injuries. Road safety, particularly for the most vulnerable users, is a human right. It’s not down to political choices/discretion, it must be addressed with adequate funds, measures and a robust road safety plan.
In HRM we lose 14 people a year on average to road fatalities.. For comparison, Seattle has reduced road fatalities to 5 per year after implementing safety improvements and speed reductions.Time for Halifax to stop being so complacent, writes road safety advocate Martyn Williams in a letter to the Transportation Standing Committee.
Road safety advocate Martyn Williams wrote a letter to theb mem
Three bicycle accidents in Halifax in short order show that if we really want to reduce accidents and increase active transport, we need to equip our urban streets to meet the needs of cyclists and pedestrians first and foremost, writes Martyn WIlliams.
“Halifax downtown needn’t be about meeting the needs of traffic flow first, pedestrians second,” writes Martyn Williams. Now that federal funding will drastically reduce truck traffic downtown it’s time to revisit the Cogswell design plans and do it right this time.
Martyn Williams: “The accident near 350 Pleasant Street marks the fifth pedestrian fatality in our municipality in just over a year, and the fifth hit and run involving a pedestrian in just two months. We need to know that addressing the danger and death on our roads is a priority for all our levels of government, not just in words, but also in the city’s budget.”
Martyn Williams weighs in on Halifax Council’s budget deliberations: “We already know that our roads cannot be made safe simply by asking people to take more care. However incidents can be reduced by introducing proven infrastructure safety countermeasures that ensure the protection of vulnerable road users is our first and foremost priority on our roads.”
The most recent pedestrian fatality, at Gottingen Street, the fourth of this year, involves once again unforgiving infrastructure for those on foot which should have been mitigated during recent efforts to remodel it, writes Martyn Williams.