Busy cross­walk needs a red light

Cape Breton Post - - EDITORIAL -

Over the last year and a half I have reg­u­larly walked my young child to L’Etoile de L’Acadie on Inglis Street in Syd­ney us­ing the Prince and Inglis cross­walk.

When the cross­ing guard is avail­able to stop traf­fic to as­sist us across the street we have en­coun­tered a sig­nif­i­cant amount of dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions. Many times ve­hi­cles do not stop for the flash­ing yel­low light that is avail­able, re­gard­less of whether or not a cross­ing guard is present. Other times cars seem to speed up to make it across the cross­walk be­fore we reach the lane they are driv­ing in, per­haps to avoid wait­ing the 15-20 sec­onds it would take us to cross the street.

I sug­gest that this cross­walk re­quires a red light to stop traf­fic at the cross­walk.

Re­quir­ing driv­ers to stop and wait for pedes­tri­ans to cross the width of Prince Street seems to be the best so­lu­tion at this point. Driv­ers need to be more care­ful and re­gard the cross­walk and peo­ple cross­ing it with more con­cern than is cur­rently demon­strated. Prince Street is a very large street with a great vol­ume of traf­fic. More­over, the cross­walk is si­t­u­ated on a hill, which may make it dif­fi­cult for driv­ers to stop in icy or snowy con­di­tions dur­ing the win­ter. We do not need to wait for some­one to be hit by a car to rec­og­nize that the cross­walk is a haz­ard to walk.

The cross­walk is si­t­u­ated in a school zone, which re­quires that driv­ers slow to 30 km/h when chil­dren are present. Un­for­tu­nately, this law is con­sis­tently not re­spected by driv­ers. Rarely have I wit­nessed a driver slow to 30 km/h while I am walk­ing my child to school. It is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able that the speed limit is not en­forced in the area ad­ja­cent to a K-12 school. It is fur­ther­more fright­en­ing and sick­en­ing that driv­ers at­tend so care­lessly to the safety and well­be­ing of peo­ple, in­clud­ing lit­tle chil­dren, cross­ing to and from school.

I have spo­ken to many peo­ple who have aimed to ad­dress this dan­ger­ous cross­walk in the past and those who are con­cerned about the sit­u­a­tion. I have gath­ered a num­ber of sig­na­tures on a pe­ti­tion and have asked the CBRM Pub­lic En­gi­neer­ing and Works depart­ment to con­sider a light that will stay red when pedes­tri­ans push a but­ton. I have seen this ap­proach work else­where and we have rec­om­mended it as a work­able so­lu­tion to the prob­lem of cross­ing Prince Street.

Please con­sider adding your voice to ad­dress this is­sue. Let’s hope that a bet­ter so­lu­tion to cross­ing Prince Street is pos­si­ble be­fore any­one is se­ri­ously in­jured.

Sylvia Bur­row Syd­ney

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