Martyn Williams on all that’s missing from the mandate letter of newly appointed Public Works minister Kim Masland.
Martyn Williams writes to members of the Halifax Transportation Standing Committee who are discussing the annual road safety framework report today at 1pm. “The municipality is not experiencing a traffic flow or congestion crisis. It is experiencing a road safety crisis that is disproportionately affecting people who are most vulnerable.”
A sidewalk closure on Young Street requires pedestrians, wheelchair and mobility scooter users to take a detour of more than 500 metres to access essential services.Staff and leadership must dig deeper and look further to ensure their policies and approach to access and infrastructure includes everyone and prioritizes the least able in much more than words and aspirations.
Ian MacIntosh, a much loved resident of Sydney, Cape Breton, was struck while crossing legally on a signalized intersection crosswalk outside the Cape Breton Regional hospital on George Street by a driver turning left. He died one week later, aged 66. Martyn Williams takes a closer look at what happened and what lessons we should learn. “This accident should never have happened,” Ian’s widow Kathryn (Kathy) MacIntosh tells Martyn.
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.
In her letter Brittanny Lynn raises the issues of inaccessible pathways and missing sidewalks in her own community in Pictou County, but we encounter the same problem in many places in rural Nova Scotia. People without cars and people with mobility issues are the ones most affected.