Closed to Pedestrians!

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According to Sgt. Tom O’Brien (“Man charged in hit-and-run”; London Free Press; 2006/02/23), “London and other cities have seen a disturbing trend of pedestrians struck by vehicles. Since 2001, there have been 70 traffic-related deaths in London, including 19 pedestrians. Last year, 225 pedestrians in London were struck by cars.

So what is London’s solution to this disturbing trend that I’ve been publicly warning about for at least a decade? CLOSE INTERSECTIONS TO PEDESTRIANS!

This just received from Mark Ridley (City Hall’s Transportation Division) …

The location of Commissioners and King Edward was studied to determine if the warrant was met and an Intersection Pedestrian Signal should be installed. The minimum pedestrian volume required for the warrant is 200 pedestrians in an 8 hour period. The study at this location counted only 88 pedestrians in the 8 hour period so the warrant was not fulfilled.

Our experience in traffic is the installation of unwarranted signals, stop signs or any other type of regulatory device does not resolve a problem it just replaces one problem with another. It is not unusual for Police supervision to be requested at unwarranted installations when drivers do not show the compliance expected at a regulatory device.

After the results of the study were attained the Transportation Division reviewed the situation internally and in discussions with the Police has agreed the best course of action to address safety concerns and remove the conflict between the pedestrians and the 26,000 daily vehicles on Commissioners is to close the crossing and relocate the crossing guard to the full set of signals at Commissioners and Frontenac. This summer Transportation will remove the pedestrian crossing lines and the sidewalk extensions on the east side and install a barrier rail similar to the one that currently exists on the east leg of Commissioners and Adelaide. In addition signs will be posted advising pedestrians of where they can cross Commissioners. This is the safest solution for all pedestrians concerned.”

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