A pedestrian crossing on South Alder Street near Frances Street is unsafe, according to several residents of the area.
This crossing is a marked crossing, with signs and road paint, but lacks a crossing light.
Resident Kayla Chris says she often sees approaching drivers passing vehicles that have already stopped at the crossing — causing danger to pedestrians, including several near-misses.
“There have been a lot of close calls there,” she said. “Something needs to be done.”
To help address the issue, Chris started a petition on change.org, which has over 200 signatures as of Aug. 19.
Jess Jaques, another nearby resident of the crossing, fears for the safety of her son who uses the crosswalk to travel to the Robron Centre for activities. She watches the crossing from her driveway and frequently sees lines of motorists fail to stop for him.
“It’s a huge problem — nobody stops,” said Jaques. “It often takes a good 10 minutes for people to actually stop for him.”
Drivers do not seem to notice — or care — about the crossing, she said.
“Yes, it’s a designated crosswalk and there’s a big crosswalk sign, but clearly that’s not enough for people to notice a child is trying to cross.”
Jaques wants a safer option for her son to cross the road.
“I want to have a safe crossing area with a proper light,” she said. “If it wasn’t for me telling my son when it’s safe to cross, he probably would have been hit by now.”
Melissa Heidema, the city’s transportation specialist, says the city too is concerned for traffic safety and that it always tries to balance safety and efficiency of its roads — and always takes in community feedback and suggestions. She did not comment on the crossing in question, however.
South Alder is classified by the city as an arterial road, with higher traffic volumes, speeds and longer travel distances. Because of this, it is not a candidate for traffic calming measures used on some residential streets in Campbell River, she explained.
Heidema responds to requests from the public to review a location of concern, then uses standard traffic engineering standards to assess the site. These consider a range of factors, including number of pedestrians, vehicle volumes and proximity of traffic signals and speed limits, among others.
By considering this information, and weighing her budget and the demand at other locations, Heidema then determines where crosswalks should be located, or upgraded to feature flashing amber lights. These upgrades cost about $18,000, she said.
“I only have so much budget per year, and I get a lot of requests for them, so I have to allocate the money carefully,” she said.