Amherst to remove 67 marked crosswalks, citing safety concerns
Published Friday, July 13, 2018 11:02AM ADT
Last Updated Friday, July 13, 2018 11:17AM ADT
While crosswalks are usually a sign of safe crossing, one Nova Scotia town is citing safety as the reason it’s removing more than five dozen of them from streets in the community.
There are 177 crosswalks in the Town of Amherst but the local traffic authority has recommended removing 67 of them after reviewing the Transport Association of Canada’s crossing guidelines.
“Some of them we feel are unsafe. Some of them we don’t feel are necessary,” says Amherst Police Chief Ian Naylor.
Naylor says about 60 of the 67 crosswalks end at a curb and not at a sidewalk. Many are located on a side street to a busy thoroughfare where a stop sign is already in place.
“The general reason for having a crosswalk is, when the traffic flow is so heavy, there’s not enough gaps in the traffic to allow pedestrians to cross the street safely and in a timely manner,” says Naylor. “In the case of the stop signs, the vehicles are stopped.”
One crossing requires drivers to stop almost as soon as they pull out onto the main road, while another crosswalk is within three metres of a second one.
“That does not meet the criteria that we have developed, and actually, it’s more dangerous than it is safe when you have two that close because you’re asking a driver to watch two crosswalks,” says Naylor.
Still, some community members have expressed concerns over the removal of the crosswalks.
“It’s very important because there’s some places where I can’t cross the road because there’s no crosswalks,” says Amy Pettigrew, who requires a motorized scooter to get around.
“The older you get, the more you want, you want some little safety,” says Ghlee Doncaster.
But Naylor says safer roads and sidewalks is exactly what the town is trying to achieve.
“It all boils down to safety, pedestrian safety, and that’s what this whole study’s about,” says Naylor. “And we talked about inconsistency, well, lack of consistency can be an issue for drivers.”
Community members will have a chance to collect more information and express their opinions at a public meeting on Tuesday.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh