Changes coming to Halifax crosswalks

Pedestrians can expect to see larger zebra crosswalks at intersections this summer.

By Payge Woodard

Pedestrians  cross intersection between Coburg rd and Robie st (Payge Woodard/ Peninsula News)
Pedestrians cross intersection between Coburg rd and Robie st (Payge Woodard/ Peninsula News)

The transportation standing committee of Halifax is taking action to keep pedestrians safer.

The committee is working on implementing 25 recommendations done by the crosswalk safety advisory committee. The recommendations include crosswalk flags, more education on crosswalk safety and more police enforcement.

Although the municipality has already begun to take action, some of the bigger changes, such as implementing larger zebra crosswalks, are being held off until the weather is warmer and the budget is ready.

Signs facing pedestrians reminding them to stop, look and listen will also be seen throughout Halifax in early summer.

Coun. Barry Dalrymple is chair of the crosswalk advisory committee and a member of the transportation standing committee. He says the idea to take on the issue of crosswalk safety began at a Halifax regional council meeting, where members began to feel as though too many pedestrians were being struck in crosswalks.

“We thought there should be something we could do about it,” he said.

(Payge Woodard/Peninsula News)
(Payge Woodard/Peninsula News)

After responsibility fell to the transportation advisory committee, the crosswalk committee was formed and worked out the 25 recommendations, which were eventually endorsed by council.

Halifax Regional Police and the RCMP have begun handing out reflective armbands at intersections and community meetings throughout Halifax. Programs such as the Distractions Kill campaign have also begun in order to increase safety awareness.

Previously, the municipality kept no statistics on pedestrian vehicle accidents. Now, committees, councillors and media are given daily updates on accidents involving pedestrians.