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: 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.
Ray Bates: To move around our communities without the many negative possibilities caused by a nearness to traffic is a physical and mental health-enhancing factor that community decision makers need to recognize and work to develop.
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: 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.