Prince Rupert’s crosswalks will be receiving upgrades in the coming months.
At the Sept. 17 council meeting, Mayor Lee Brain reported that the Ministry of Highways will be conducting work to improve both the visibility and safety of intersections frequented by pedestrians in the city.
The upgrades will take place at intersections located on the provincially controlled McBride Street and Second Avenue.
“We just want people to know that highways has heard our community loud and clear and are going to be doing some major improvement for the downtown on their sections,” Brain said.
Work will begin between September and October when 89 street lights will be converted from conventional bulbs to LED lights to improve illumination in low-light conditions. Brain said the new lights will be located on McBride Street and Second Avenue.
Pedestrian crossing countdown timers and audible signals will also be installed at all intersections, all street signs will be replaced on signal polls and new durable long line painting will be laid down at crosswalks.
The Second Avenue and Third Street intersection crosswalks will also be reconfigured, removing the downhill crosswalk and improving signage at the uphill crosswalk.
“This will reduce driver load and make for a safer intersection operation,” said Brain.
The ministry will also conduct a study for the McBride Street and Second Avenue intersection, looking at designs that could improve it. Alternatives could include a roundabout and signalization.
In 2017, 11 pedestrians were hit by vehicles, with seven of those incidents occuring in crosswalks. In 2018, four pedestrians were hit by cars in crosswalks, three of which were on Second Avenue West.