In both my time as a city councilor and now as mayor, one of the most common concerns I hear about is the city’s courtesy crossings. The concern is not that people don’t appreciate the attempt to make our roads more pedestrian friendly, it’s the fact that cars are not legally obligated to stop at these crossings. This makes it difficult, especially for children or for seniors, to gauge when it might be safe to cross.
Unfortunately provincial law has prohibited the city from installing legal crosswalks, making courtesy crossings the best we could do – until now. After years of lobbying the province, along with other municipalities, we can now install legal pedestrian crosswalks, known as pedestrian crossovers. These crossovers are expected to have specialized signage, pavement markings, amber lights, and most importantly, will require cars to stop.
Starting this year, the city will begin converting our 10 existing courtesy crossings to legal crosswalks. Once the existing crosswalks have been converted we can then consider other locations where crossings may be beneficial. In my view this is an important step towards a more walkable, inclusive and ultimately a smart and livable city!