Saturday, August 31, 2013

Crosswalk Action

I was glad to see Town workers painting the crosswalk on Huntley/Harbour intersection this past week – just in time for school.   There are several key crosswalks on high traffic roads in Clarenville and in this past week’s Council meeting I see that there was a decision to add another on the heavily travelled Memorial Drive route as it runs past the Seniors gathering centre. (listen to the Aug 22 meeting on THE PACKET's website at )

Noble for sure, but even Council admits that these crosswalks give a rather false sense of security seeing that most drivers in Clarenville seem to be oblivious to them -and the pedestrian's ready to use them - as they zoom past.  

We really need crosswalks that work better.

If there is an admission of a problem – as indicated in the Council discussion – then measures must be taken to solve that problem before someone is hurt and before the town is held liable for negligence.

In other pedestrian focused jurisdictions, several things are being done that we could do here – at a minimal cost.  
  1. Help reduce speed with larger sized signage
  2. Ensure the Crosswalks are marked by monitoring painting the lines regularly. As well, ensure that giant X’s are painted on the road well before to the crosswalk
  3. Cut the trees and remove visibility obstacles before the crossing so drivers have a clearer line of view.   This is a real problem on Harbour Drive and Huntley Drive.
  4.  Install road embedded reflective markers around the crosswalks.    These markers may not work well in our winters but the other 9 months of the year they will be beneficial.
  5.  Light the crossing with warning lights.  There are specific lights for crosswalks that can be either conventionally grid powered or solar powered.  As we move into the dark season the benefits of these become even greater.  The installed cost of these is about $6,000 per set but they are effective and relative to other infrastructure installations they are inexpensive.

These type crossing lights have been installed in other
jurisdictions across
atlantic canada by Clarenville based SWEnergy

As a driver, I know it’s quite easy to go faster than I should, so the goal must be to ALERT drivers to their driving situation.  The measures I'm proposing here are not rocket science and neither are they budget breaking.  But, they might just save a life.

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