LETTER TO THE EDITOR: City has an obligation as far as pedestrian safety

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: City has an obligation as far as pedestrian safety

This is about ensuring the basic physical safety of our citizens, says letter writer

To the editor,

My heart goes out to the latest pedestrian victim hit in a crosswalk.

This city claims that pedestrians are their top transportation priority, yet when it comes to ensuring their safety we get excuses about costs, how complicated road engineering is, framing safety concerns as minor inconveniences, more studies and little action.

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The Bruce and Albion crosswalk was flagged by the RCMP as one of the worst in the city, a person was killed by a driver in 2016, no studies were done about pedestrian safety for 12 years, and then the road was rebuilt with no improvement here for walkers.

This isn’t the only instance where pedestrians are put at risk. The city refuses to enforce bylaws for sidewalk snow clearing and defends their right to plow snow onto sidewalks, suggesting people walk in the street. Seventh Street, located near three schools, was recently repaved, with no sidewalk.

Two kids were killed this year, and still we wait for studies before we can make any improvements to the Hammond Bay crosswalk.

This isn’t about fancy active transportation infrastructure, amazing plazas and sidewalk cafés. This is about ensuring the basic physical safety of our citizens as they try to go about their lives. This council needs to show leadership, and invest in pedestrian safety now.

And before anyone starts blaming victims for their clothing choices: a green fluorescent arm band will not save you from a driver in a 4,000-pound steel box who fails to yield in a crosswalk.

Wanda Thompson, Nanaimo

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The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.