Residents on Barlow Road are concerned about pedestrian safety and are calling on the city to take action before someone is killed.
A group of 11 presented a letter, signed by each resident, to council at last week’s council meeting outlining their concerns.
The letter was written by Ron and Bo La Fleur who explained that a large part of the problem is that the only exit for traffic off of Barlow (one block south of Rona) is at the end of the street and Highway 19A.
“This is a very busy intersection with a city bus stop and three different school buses picking up kids and dropping them off five days a week,” the La Fleurs wrote. “We also have the lovely sea walk at our doorstep and it is not safe and very difficult crossing the busy Island Highway to reach it.”
Ron and Bo La Fleur noted the heavy traffic is often travelling over the posted 50 kilometre per hour speed limit, creating a situation of an accident just waiting to happen.
“The traffic seldom slows down or stops for families with children or people wanting to walk their dogs, crossing to reach the sea walk or the beach, mostly because there is no crosswalk,” the La Fleurs wrote in their letter to council. “We are requesting a crosswalk, preferably with a flashing light, as soon as possible before we end up with a fatality at this corner.”
Coun. Ron Kerr asked city staff present at last Tuesdays’ council meeting if it would be a problem to install a crosswalk.
City Manager Andy Laidlaw said he could not be adequately answer that right away.
“There is a plan for pedestrian crossings throughout the Island Highway,” Laidlaw said. “Those have been designated in the transportation plan – there are priorities for crossings. If you wish information on this, I recommend council ask for a staff report.”
Mayor Walter Jakeway suggested council could at the very least put in a painted crosswalk until the city is able to find money in its budget for a pedestrian crossing light.
“I think that would help, while we wait, if it would be possible just to have a painted crosswalk,” Jakeway said.
Laidlaw reiterated that his recommendation would be to ask for a report from staff outlining all of council’s options.
Council in the end did just that and requested city staff come back with information on the Barlow intersection.