Darmouth councillor asks for street review after pedestrian fatality
Tyler Beaton uses a crosswalk on Pleasant Street every day, and says he does it with caution.
“It’s busy everyday so it's a little nerve wracking,” he says. “You just have to take your time and do it, I guess, but it is a little scary from time to time.”
Hearing a woman was struck and killed while crossing Wednesday morning does make some wonder if extra safety measures are needed.
Evan Arsenault says he’s never had any kind of incident while crossing the busy four-lane street, but thinks more precautions would be helpful.
“Those flags might be useful on the crosswalk,” he says, so that people can see the people that are actually crossing.”
Police are still investigating exactly what happened after a 27-year-old woman was hit by a vehicle Wednesday morning, and died later in the day in hospital.
A driver has been ticketed by Halifax Regional Police for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. The charge has not been tested in court.
It’s the second pedestrian fatality on this particular stretch of the street in two-and-a-half years. The other was on February 22 of 2019 , when 57-year-old man was killed after being struck in a hit and run just before 6 AM.
The city councillor for the area, Sam Austin, has now asked municipal staff to review this stretch of road.
“You really have to look at the underlying design, is there something wrong here with the actual street that is making it more dangerous than it should be,”says Austin
Crosswalk safety advocate Norm Collins has one suggestion – speed humps.
“What I would like to see are speed humps, fifty, seventy-five metres in advance of the marked crosswalk.”
Collins says that way, drivers would automatically slow down in advance of a crosswalk.
Speed humps have been popping up in residential neighborhoods all over the city - but the municipality's traffic calming measures exclude multi-lane roads.
“The city allows speed humps on 50 km/hour roads, on what they call 'minor collector roads',” says Collins, “so I don’t understand why it would be an issue here.”
But transportation professor Ahsan Habib of Dalhousie University’s School of Planning, says infrastructure such as speed humps are just one piece of the road safety puzzle.
He says road safety audits should certainly be done to identify and address problem areas.
Habib also says a 2014 master’s degree study of all traffic collisions in the province over a seven year period, found either pedestrian or driver behaviours were most often factors in collisions.
Time of day, weather conditions and visibility were also at play.
“Because 12 percent of our collisions happen, particularly for the pedestrian, is not being visible given different weather conditions that we have here in Halifax,” says Habib.
The study also found collisions involving pedestrians occur most often in the summer and between October and February.