Pedestrians risk their lives in St. Albert
| Posted: Saturday, Jan 11, 2014 06:00 am
Re: Hit and run article in Jan. 4 edition of the Gazette.
Hi Scott, I read your hit and run article with interest this morning.
That intersection is one we use quite often, as we live on the north side of Bellerose, on Ironwood Drive. I have a daughter working at Ironwood Estates, and a son who delivers the Gazette to the Ironwood Point complex. Me, I use it to cross, heading to the river for a run or walking the dog.
My own findings were simple – 100 per cent of the time I cross that intersection any time after dusk, a car goes through the intersection without stopping. Cars coming from the east were particularly a problem – they have usually just cleared the intersection at Bellerose and Boudreau, and are coming up a rise. They are at or near full speed, and see you at the last second if they are even looking at all. Cars from the west just don't seem to see the yellow crosswalk sign. As a result, you take a risk every time you cross. My kids are under strict orders – you don't go until you see cars stopped. You can't trust anyone. I've waved at many motorists, two feet from me, as they plunge right through the intersection.
About 18 months ago, out of concern for the traffic and the inattention to the intersection, I wrote the city asking for options. After review the city advised the intersection was unsuited for flashing lights because the traffic volume was not high enough. I understand their point – they can't make every intersection marked with lights, there has to be a cutoff. But out of selfishness, I want to see the intersection better-marked – someone is going to die. Luckily the girl in your article wasn't hurt badly. Next time, luck might not be on her side.
I'd add one point to consider. Stand at any crosswalk in the city, marked or otherwise, flashing lights or not, and motorists will wander through. I think the RCMP could have a field day just sitting and ticketing those motorists, all day. Makes me wonder what the issue is – do motorists just not pay attention, do they not understand the law?
This isn't just one intersection, I see it everywhere.
Thanks for the article and raising awareness.
Lorne Sundby, St. Albert