Second Avenue West needs more curves.
While that may sound strange, it actually makes a lot more sense than the province’s response to the six people struck by vehicles at crosswalks on its section of highway that runs through the city.
The Ministry of Transportation said that it had one light installed in 2013 and it recently resurfaced and painted highway providing a reflective crosswalk. But really, what the ministry was saying was that drivers need to slow down and pedestrians need to watch for oncoming traffic.
But instead of relying on sudden behavioural changes to all drivers, walkers and riders, there is a way to improve safety on the roads, and ensure safer crossings, and it involves adding a few curves.
Curb extensions would extend the sidewalk at each crosswalks along Second Avenue West, which would shorten the crossing distance and make pedestrians more visible.
Currently, cars parked along the road visually block pedestrians intending to cross. With a bulb-out, or curb extensions, drivers would be more aware of each approaching crosswalk and the people on the sideline.
No crosswalk is perfect in Prince Rupert. There are many troublesome, difficult to see areas across the city, but the numbers don’t lie, there’s something particularly more dangerous about crossing a road on Second Avenue West.
How many more pedestrian accidents involving cars need to happen before curves are added.