Crosswalks that fail to prioritize pedestrains

Along most of the main arterials in the West Island, and many suburbs, there are highway ramps. The one featured here is typical in that just as cars are turning off (and speeding up) to merge momentarily onto the highway (accelerating from 50km/h to 100km/h), there is a pedestrian crossing. There is no formal stop sign or light, just a crosswalk and a simple sign indicating so.

While in theory this gives pedestrians priority, in practice pedestrians must wait for the automobile traffic to pass and walk (or run) across the crosswalk. The cars rarely, if ever, slow down at these crosswalks, even when there are pedestrians (or cyclists) waiting to cross. And crossing in front of oncoming – and accelerating – traffic is a dangerous decision for vulnerable pedestrians. The result: pedestrians yield to automobile traffic in this autocentric suburban landscape.

The City should make it evident that this crosswalk prioritizes the safety of pedestrians and the convenience of walking. The sign could be more clear, “Priorité aux piétons” for instance, and could be lite up at night. Further, there could be advanced warning for motorists that a crosswalk is coming up and that they should be aware of pedestrians (and prepared to slow down).

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2 thoughts on “Crosswalks that fail to prioritize pedestrains

  1. Nathan

    How about lowering near-city highway speed limits to say 85 kmph instead of 100? This is common in many European cities, even the automobile-centric Spain. This way cars wouldn’t have to accelerate so much to begin with in order to merge. Second, there could be a stop sign (enforced) behind the crosswalk, so the drivers would be coming to a stop anyway. Lighting at night would be great, as well. I’m excited to read your blog, Devon, especially because I’m going to do something similar while I’m in Brazil. Keep up the good work! I just sold my car to my aunt&cousin yesterday–I’m super excited to finally not have one available to me hahaha. Take care!

    Reply

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