Council rejects safety signs

Campbell River Coun. Larry Samson’s efforts to improve safety for pedestrians on Springbok Road has been shot down by council

Coun. Larry Samson’s efforts to improve safety for pedestrians on Springbok Road has been shot down by council.

Samson put a motion on the table at the Nov. 6 council meeting to install a traffic sign in the 1050 block of Springbok near the Beaver Lodge Lands catwalk to make it easier for pedestrians to cross the street to access the connector path.

“There are signs used throughout Canada and the U.S. that shows there are pedestrians in the area,” Samson told council. “While it is not designated as a crosswalk, it does catch drivers’ attention that there are pedestrians in the area.”

Samson said the signs would cost between $200-$250 to install and don’t require any lighting or other fancy equipment.

But Ron Neufeld, the city’s general manager of operations, said the signs, which serve as a warning to drivers that pedestrians may be nearby, would be unrecognizable because they’re not used in Campbell River and wouldn’t match existing road signs in the community.

“That is an option but our recommendation would be to not proceed as it’s an abnormal sign for the city and pedestrian activity is low,” Neufeld said.

A traffic count conducted by the city, and requested by council through a motion tabled by Samson, revealed the number of pedestrians in the area does not meet the threshold to warrant a crosswalk.

Pedestrian counts show foot traffic has a 45-minute window where it’s safe to cross the street during the peak morning hour (8-9 a.m.) and there are more than 250 crossing opportunities within the hour. During the peak evening hour (4-5 p.m.) pedestrians have 46 minutes when it’s clear of traffic and again, more than 250 crossing opportunities.

The B.C. crossing control manual for communities of similar size to Campbell River, sets out criteria that stipulates a cross walk would be justified if there were a minimum of 15 pedestrian crossings each hour and a minimum of 120 crossing opportunities per hour.

The city’s pedestrian count took place over the course of one week in September after Samson began advocating for a crosswalk in the area.

At a council meeting in late July, Samson had asked city staff to report back to council on the need for a crosswalk to connect the sidewalk, which runs down the east side of the street, with the Beaver Lodge Lands bike path connector.

Samson was concerned after seeing kids running out onto the street to access the path, which comes out onto Springbok at the bottom of a steep, winding hill.