Let’s make our roads safer!

There are a handful of issues that are getting mainstream coverage this election; the economy, infrastructure, the arena.  There are other issues that come up at community forums like planning and development and supporting Community Associations.  But if there is one thing that comes up the most at the doors, it’s road safety.

In Acadia, we heard multiple times over that there are real concerns about speeding down Fairmount Drive.  In Oakridge, 24th children.jpegStreet is a priority roadway with so many children having to cross it from Oakridge to get to Nellie McClung school.  It may not make the headlines on the campaign trail, but it is essential to take action on pedestrian/cyclist and road safety before someone loses a son or daughter, mom or dad.  Here’s what we know about pedestrian safety, and some ideas on how to get there….

Evidence shows:

  • When everyone is operating at low speeds, you can have different uses on the same road. When road users are operating at significantly different speeds, there should be separation.  E.g. high-speed highways should be for cars only; where there are high rates of cycling, separate high and slow speed cyclists.

  • Operating at low speed tends to result in low rates of accidents because everyone is paying attention, making eye contact, etc.  Stephen Avenue is an example of a shared space.

  • Anything that makes a driver pause to consider other users results in safer roads.

  • Preparing drivers for a crossing ahead of time means they start slowing down early to avoid sudden braking or worse, collisions.

  • Narrow lanes reduce speed

Ideas worth exploring:

  • Change the texture or paint the road ahead of a crosswalk

  • Put curves in the road by placing chicanes or abuttments

  • Narrow the crossing so pedestrians are in drivers’ sight lines and there is less area of the road for pedestrians to travel

  • Remove the centre line, this asks people to slow down

  • Change the texture of the road

  • Pedestrian traffic/people on the street reduces speed - it tells drivers that people live here, and they should be more careful.

Where are the trouble spots in your neighbourhood related to roadway safety?  Do you have other ideas for safer pedestrian crossings? Add it to “Janet’s To-do List” by pinning it on my interactive map.