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.”
10 pedestrians died in Halifax traffic over the last 2 years, almost half of them while using a crosswalk. Making crosswalks safer is not rocket science, writes Martyn Williams, so why should we accept that our life and personal safety is less important than traffic flow?
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.