Woman’s death sparks road de­bate

Coun­cil­lor calls for tra c lights, TTC pulls bus stop

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - Toronto - Gil­bert Ngabo

The TTC has pulled a Scar­bor­ough bus stop from ser­vice fol­low­ing the death of a pedes­trian.

The 21-year-old woman was hit by a car after get­ting off the bus and at­tempt­ing to cross Stee­les Av­enue near East­vale Drive Sun­day evening. She was taken to the hos­pi­tal with lifethreat­en­ing in­juries and pro­nounced dead.

A Gofundme cam­paign to cover fu­neral costs has iden­ti­fied the vic­tim as Jes­sica Renee Sal­ick­ram.

“In view of this re­cent tragedy, we are sus­pend­ing use of this stop un­til fur­ther no­tice,” TTC spokesper­son Stu­art Green wrote in an email to Metro. Rid­ers will have to get on or off else­where as the city re­views its op­tions.

Coun. Neethan Shan says the in­con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion makes it dif­fi­cult for rid­ers to safely board or dis­em­bark.

The south side of Stee­les where the stop is lo­cated is next to a field with no side­walk, leav­ing pas­sen­gers in a pile of snow dur­ing the win­ter. The death of a 21-year-old woman who was at­tempt­ing to cross Stee­les Ave. has sparked calls to im­prove pedes­trian safety at this area bor­der­ing Scar­bor­ough and Markham. Here is an il­lus­tra­tion of the area where the bus stop has been tem­po­rar­ily put out of use. The area has no street lights, and no stop sign or cross­walks for pedes­tri­ans who need to cross north into the res­i­den­tial area.

“It is in an area that has seen a phe­nom­e­nal amount of pop­u­la­tion growth over the past decade, and the streets are still the way they were all these years,” Shan said.

At the up­com­ing com­mu­nity coun­cil meet­ing, Shan will

It would take some­one ap­prox­i­mately 12 min­utes

to get o bus at the stop, walk back and cross at the safe in­ter­sec­tion, then walk over to East­vale res­i­den­tial street.

The clos­est safe cross­ing

point is at Tap­scott Rd.


dis­tance­fromthe­bus stop­tothe­n­ear­est­safe

cross­ing­point. pro­pose in­stal­la­tion of traf­fic lights at the Stee­les and East­vale in­ter­sec­tion. He said the city also needs to in­crease vis­i­bil­ity and re­think speed lim­its in the area, given the in­crease in traf­fic from sub­ur­ban res­i­dents who use Stee­les/tau­ton as an al­ter­na­tive to the 401.

Shan said the city con­ducted a study of the area a few years ago, be­fore he was elected to coun­cil, but de­cided no change 21-year-old Jes­sica Renee Sal­ick­ram was

hit by a driver last Sun­day as she tried to cross Stee­les Ave. E. BUS STOP

was needed.

“We can­not wait to catch up on things of safety,” he said. “It’s un­for­tu­nate that the at­ten­tion is com­ing after a tragic in­ci­dent. I share the frus­tra­tion of the com­mu­nity.”

Adam Co­hoon, a Walk Toronto board mem­ber and TTC Rid­ers ac­ces­si­bil­ity ad­vo­cate, said there are many other dan­ger­ous bus stops, es­pe­cially in sub­ur­ban ar­eas.

“If the road is busy enough to ne­ces­si­tate a bus, there should be a side­walk on both sides,” said Co­hoon, who uses a power wheel­chair.

The fact that all three pedes­trian deaths so far in 2018 hap­pened when peo­ple tried to cross the street shows a lack of con­ve­nient points of cross­ing all over the city, said Co­hoon.

“That’s not putting pedes­tri­ans first.”


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