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.
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
“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 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.”
In Nova Scotia pedestrians and cyclists are particularly vulnerable to accidents. It doesn’t need to be that way, writes Martyn Williams. There are things we can do beyond increasing some fines, other countries have done so, and it is paying off.
How many more pedestrians must be hit before our municipality acts and we reduce bloodshed on our streets? Martyn Williams offers up three simple solutions that will save lives.
Lower speed limits, although not a panacea, mean fewer accidents, and fewer pedestrian deaths. Both City and Province agree that lowering speeds is a positive move, yet a standoff about jurisdictional authority is stopping implementation. “Not at all satisfactory for parents who need to head off to work before their children walk to school alone, or for the pedestrians regularly hit on our crosswalks,” writes Martyn Williams
Too many lives are lost or ruined through traffic accidents, writes Martyn Williams. “Who in local and provincial governance will stand up and admit that road safety in Nova Scotia is not a problem, it is a crisis?”
Unfortunately, Halifax’s new Road Safety Plan isn’t living up to its billing, writes safe streets activist Martyn Williams, who suggests some simple solutions that were successful elsewhere and would go a long ways in making getting out and about in Halifax both safer and more enjoyable for all.
Safe streets activist Martyn Williams takes a closer look at the flawed and dangerous crosswalks in Halifax and elsewhere in the province. Crosswalks here have many inherent dangers – wide four or even five lane crosswalks with high overhead lights which are sometimes not seen by drivers, signalized intersections where traffic has a green light to turn left into the road which has the walk sign on, right turns on a red, and crosswalks which have overhead lit signs but no flashing lights. It doesn’t have to be this way.