Data supports the case for a Barlow Road crosswalk

There is not enough foot traffic to support other controls, such as flashing pedestrian lights

Staff at city hall agree with a group of residents concerned for the safety of pedestrians – the corner of Barlow Road and Highway 19A deserves a crosswalk.

Drew Hadfield, the city’s transportation manager, said the city conducted an updated pedestrian count in the Barlow area to see if it met the threshold for a pedestrian crossing.

“The counts were used to evaluate the warrant for a pedestrian crossing,” Hadfield said in a report to council. “The warrant supports the installation of a painted crossing and the associated pedestrian crossing signage.”

Hadfield said while a good case can be made for a crosswalk, there is not enough foot traffic to support other controls, such as flashing pedestrian lights or a pedestrian-activated traffic signal.

Concerned residents in the area presented city council July 9 with a letter, signed by 11 different people, asking council to put in a crosswalk with flashing pedestrian lights.

They said the biggest problem is that a large number of motorists are travelling over the posted 50 kilometre/per hour speed limit.

“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,” wrote the residents. “We are requesting a crosswalk, preferably with a flashing light, as soon as possible, before we end up with a fatality on our hands.”

Council in response asked city staff to come back with a report outlining council’s options.

Those options are: install the signage and road markings on the south leg of the intersection of Barlow and Highway 19A (which is near Rona) or take no action at this time. Council was expected to make a decision at Tuesday’s city council meeting after the Mirror went to press.

The cost of putting in the crosswalk is expected to cost between $750 and $1,000 which would have to come out of the roads department’s operational budget as the 2013 budget was already set in January. Hadfield noted that Barlow is one of the few streets that does not have a crossing for pedestrians.

“The majority of the intersections north of Erickson Road have either a crosswalk, pedestrian assisted flashing lit crosswalk or traffic lights,” he said. “The intersections south of Erickson Road have crosswalk and flashing pedestrian lights installed at selected local and collector roadways – Dahl, Maryland and Colorado).”

Hadfield said that according to collision records from ICBC from 2008-2012, there has been one accident in five years and it was not involving a pedestrian. But, Hadfield noted, speeds are “quite high” – 52 kilometres per hour and 85th percentile speeds are 65 kilometres per hour.