Seniors living at Ironwood Place say they are terrified crossing at Ironwood and 14th Avenue and have been asking the city for pedestrian flashing lights for several years. They are also worried over the loss of a nearby bus stop, which they say adds to their safety concerns. Photo by Kristen Douglas/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River seniors say they’re ‘terrified’ to leave their home

A group of Campbell River seniors living at Ironwood Place say traffic issues around their residence have gotten so bad that they’re afraid to step foot outside of their home.

It’s gotten to the point where some residents of the seniors home won’t even risk the short walk across the street to the Campbell River Common Mall.

“A few residents take a taxi to get across the street to go to Dollarama,” says Rita Bresson, administrator of Ironwood Place.

“This is their home, they should feel safe to go outside of their home but they don’t, they’re terrified.”

The reason, she says, is that residents are afraid to use the traffic light-controlled intersection at Ironwood and 13th Avenue (at the entrance to the mall) because cars turning right off of 16th onto Ironwood often don’t see the residents stepping into the crosswalk and there have been near misses. One Ironwood Place resident says he recently saw a man at the crosswalk fall out of his wheelchair while trying to cross Ironwood.

As an alternative, Bresson says they’ve been asking the city for several years for a flashing light at the crosswalk at 14th and Ironwood, a crosswalk at which Bresson says “no one stops for them” when trying to cross the street. Bresson says thus far the city won’t commit to the light which leaves the residents in peril.

“To be sitting here during the day and hear the screaming of brakes, we start worrying trying to figure out which residents are signed out,” Bresson says.

“These are the people who built our country, who built our city,” adds Ironwood Place resident Margaret Christoling. “We don’t want it to end up like Nanaimo who said they wouldn’t do it, it won’t work, until a six-year-old got killed and then they put the lights in.”

And now, to make matters worse, she says, BC Transit, with its recent route adjustments has added to the residents’ safety concerns by taking away the bus stop across the street from Ironwood Place – the stop most commonly used by the residents.

“To try and get this (pedestrian) light, and nothing, and now to have their bus stop taken away,” Bresson says. “We’re done.”

Now, in order to get uptown in the most direct manner, Bresson says residents have to walk down Ironwood to 16th Avenue, and cross 16th to get to the bus stop.

Martin Broeren, who takes the bus to visit his wife at Yucalta Lodge every day, says it’s a challenge to get to the bus stop on 16th.

“It’s a dark place, there’s no light there, the crosswalk is hardly visible and how am I going to get down there in the wintertime?” Broeren wonders. “I have a walker and I can’t push it in the snow. So that’s a bad scene.

“I get around, but there are dangers,” he adds. “16th is some sort of speedway for some drivers, it’s a bad, bad place. It’s unsafe.”

There’s also no shelter at that particular bus stop and it’s really just a patch of dirt which resident Jim Hambly says poses a problem for those with mobility challenges.

“I was told they can’t load a wheelchair at that location because there’s no sidewalk there,” he says. “There needs to be a sidewalk to lower the ramp.”

Jonathon Dyck, communications manager for BC Transit, says bus stop infrastructure is the responsibility of the city and that Transit works with the city to identify areas that need improvement.

“We work hard to provide accessible bus stops in areas that they would be required,” he says. “We will definitely review this bus stop with the city and see if that can be improved.”

As for the location of the bus stop, Dyck says in making the changes to the Campbell River system, Transit worked hard to improve frequency and to make routes more direct. He says in order to provide increased service to those living in the 16th Avenue and Ironwood area, the frequency of routes 1, 2, 3 and 7 in that area was increased.

“Our goal is to provide service within a 400 metre walk to transit based on best practices for transit,” Dyck says. “The changes to the system still reflect this goal and does allow for the proper walking distance from Ironwood Place.”

Having said that, Dyck says BC Transit is more than willing to discuss any concerns with transit users.

“Anytime a significant change is made, it takes time to adjust to the new system, and we are committed to working with current and future transit riders,” he says. “Our planners and the city are willing to meet with groups of people that may have questions or comments about the system to help with trip planning based on the new routes and identify areas that can be improved.

“We will be reviewing the system after six months to see how it is functioning and determine if there are further changes that need to be made,” Dyck added, noting that Transit has already added a section to the Oyster River bus route to accommodate people at the south end of the route based on feedback from transit users about lengthier route times.

As for the city and the pedestrian light, the city acknowledges that Ironwood Place first asked for a pedestrian crossing light in 2009 at Ironwood and 14th and the site was subsequently reviewed by the city.

“Even though, at the time, the traffic counts didn’t technically warrant upgrades, the city added crosswalk signs and reviewed street lighting and sightlines to enhance pedestrian safety,” says Drew Hadfield, the city’s transportation manager. “The location was reviewed again in 2014 and traffic numbers and conditions did not technically warrant upgrades at that time either.”

Hadfield says the 14th Avenue/Ironwood crosswalk is expected to be reviewed once again this year by the city’s transportation department, however, there is no additional funding in the budget to install a flashing pedestrian light in 2017. Hadfield also notes that funding for crosswalk improvements “is allocated according to greatest need based on a community-wide assessment.”

Hadfield says if there are ongoing safety concerns, that residents are encouraged to report it to law enforcement.

“If people are noticing hazardous driving conditions or that drivers are consistently not stopping for pedestrians, people are encouraged to contact the RCMP for increased monitoring and enforcement,” says Hadfield, adding that this is the time of year drivers often need a reminder to use caution at pedestrian crossings, particularly as “we’re getting into a season of poor weather and shorter daylight hours.”


 

@CRMirror
kristend@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

In other news:

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Seniors living at Ironwood Place say they are terrified crossing at Ironwood and 14th Avenue and have been asking the city for pedestrian flashing lights for several years. They are also worried over the loss of a nearby bus stop, which they say adds to their safety concerns. Photo by Kristen Douglas/Campbell River Mirror

Just Posted

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

No unused COVID-19 vaccines are going to waste at the end of… Continue reading

Where urban and natural landscapes meet can be a very interesting place. The Museum at Campbell River and Greenways Land Trust are hosting a talk on Earth Day on that topic. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Where urban and natural meet

Earth Day talk looks at urban biodiversity

Ryan Rasmussen goes on a training run on Quadra Island. Photo supplied.
Quadra Island man to run 160 km to raise funds for alternative cancer care

‘I feel like I need to be in pain to raise the money… I can’t do something that’s easy’ — Ryan Rasmussen

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Most Read