The city has spent time and money on creating pedestrian-friendly walkways but has overlooked the safety of families that use them, according to one councillor.
Of particular concern is Springbok Road, near the connector to the bike path.
Coun. Larry Samson directed city staff last week to investigate and report back to council on the need for a crosswalk in the 1050 block of Springbok to connect the sidewalk with the connector path, near Eland Road.
“As part of the sidewalk infill program, which I believe is a very good program, we’ve created these pedestrian-friendly walkways in our neighbourhoods,” Samson said at a council meeting July 10.
The city’s sidewalk infill program focuses on building sidewalks in high priority areas where pedestrian use is high and the safety of those pedestrians is of concern.
Samson said while he likes the program, he’s troubled that it does not include crosswalks and other safety measures.
“I think as part of the sidewalk infill program there is the necessity or the need to have safe crossings for our families and safe crossings for our children,” he said.
Samson noted kids on Springbok have been running out in the street to access the bike path, which is at the bottom of a steep, winding hill.
He said the bike path in the neighbourhood has been “substantially” improved and it’s heavily used because of nearby Sandowne Elementary School and a number of young families in the area.
City staff came back with a report which was before council at the Committee of the Whole meeting last night after the Mirror went to press.
Drew Hadfield, city transportation manager, said the Springbok location did not meet the criteria used to support a crosswalk at this time.
“Priority locations are along logical and strategic positions on arterial and collector roadways, and generally correspond with issues associated with safety, traffic volume and routes frequently used by pedestrians,” Hadfield said in his report. “Generally, mid-block sections are avoided unless there is a need that can be validated and/or the distance is excessive between intersections.”
Hadfield said the volume of traffic, the speed of traffic and the number of pedestrians don’t warrant a crosswalk, although the city has reviewed requests in the area and is in the process of installing a crosswalk at the intersection of Gazelle and Rockland roads.
Hadfield said the city will undertake traffic counts on Springbok in the next few weeks to confirm volume and speed.
“If the volume information supports further review, staff will look at pedestrian movements in the area and determine if any additional steps need to be taken to address this request,” he said.