Tuesday, July 3, 2012

McCreath's plea for safety at Thorburn Road intersection 7/3/2012

Well, as a reaction to a recent pedestrian accident on Thorburn Road, locals have organized protests to raise awareness to the dangerous driving and lack of crosswalks at the intersection where the accident happened. I decided to do a little investigational work so I could better understand the situation and formulate an opinion of my own.

Essentially, we have crosswalks at Moss Heather Drive and Mount Scio Drive. At a casual walk, it took me 3 minutes to get from one end to the other. Hence, if one were to arrive at the midpoint and seek out a crosswalk, rather than jaywalk, they'd be looking at an additional 6 minutes of walking to get to and from the store. Furthermore, one must press the button and wait for a walk signal. This took me 30 seconds the first time and 45 seconds the next time. so first of all, we are asking people to add an average of 7 min 15 seconds to their trip to the store. is that reasonable? Well, many folks feel jaywalking is a better option.

Meanwhile, the real story here: during those 7 min 15 seconds, I observed the following behaviour from drivers:

6 appeared to be speeding
2 changed lanes without signaling
2 were driving in a dangerous manner (i.e. weaving in and out of traffic)
1 talking on a cell phone
1 using a computer to send a text message

Meanwhile, no police officer appeared to be in sight.

Furthermore, I observed 2 jaywalkers who crossed at exactly the same point where the accident happened. this was a mother with a young child.

Bottom line, here are my observations and conclusions:

- people will risk safety in order to save time; 7 min 15 seconds is too much to ask
- an additional crosswalk would substantially reduce the probability of jaywalkers
- crosswalks alone will not force drivers to adhere to the Highway Traffic Act
- the deployment of an extra police officer to monitor this area would more than pay for itself in fine collection from tickets that could be issued and persuade other drivers to adhere to the laws

Bottom line, something needs to be done to make this place safer. This includes taking steps to keep pedestrians safe, and taking steps to force drivers to be safe.

For more of my analysis, see my video report on my vlog.

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