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?
Friends of Halifax Common has written to HRM Mayor and Council asking that they refuse the province’s latest proposal for a provincial parking garage for the Halifax Infirmary – which is to not build a 7-storey parkade on the south side of the Natural History Museum; but instead to build an 8-storey on the north side of the Museum; and, to join the Hospital to the new parking garage by way of a pedway above Summer Street.
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.
On Tuesday evening, news of yet another extremely serious pedestrian incident. At 7.45pm on a wet and windy evening, a 57 year old man was hit by a vehile on the 300 block of Windmill Road, Dartmouth and left with life threatening injuries. Martyn Williams has some observatons about the age of the victim, and the state of Windmill Road.
Two pedestrian fatalities and an additional two serious incidents involving cyclists inside a week is too much for any one of us to bear. A city which is a liability for its most vulnerable road users has lost its way, its soul and spirit. Yet some inexpensive but highly effective measures could begin to turn things around almost immediately, writes Martyn Williams.
Martyn Williams: “Roads which look and feel like Highways don’t belong in urban areas and will only result in more fatalities involving all road users and no progress with achieving transport diversity and creating enjoyable, liveable communities. We need to figure out a cost effective means of adapting them for use by all.”
Actor and comedian Cathy Jones believes HRM Mayor and Council aren’t taking citizens’ concerns and best interests into account when making decisions about development approvals, but instead they’re following the developers’ lead.