Bringing Back the Crosswalk

Bringing Back the Crosswalk

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.

Crossover example - ministry of transportation.jpg

The City’s crossovers may look like the image above, provided by the Ministry of Transportation website

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!

3 Responses

  1. Cathy says:

    Crosswalk badly needed at Fergus street and Concession.

  2. jamie says:

    Part of being more walkable is the sidewalk being available to be walked on. Two issues that come up more then they should, especially in winter, are cars parked across sidewalks (sometimes creating dead ends when there are large snow banks), and an increasing rate of lare amounts of snow deposited across already plowed sidewalks from truck plowed driveways. Both issues are more prevelant where there are student rentals.

    Toronto just increased the fine for various parking infractions, including sidewalk and bike lane blocking, to $150. Guelph has adopted a nifty online system to report infractions like these, as well as see where other reports have been made and if the reports were dealt with. Staff have reported this has made enforcement more efficient.

    Kingston’s low fines and seemingly little enforcement could be improved.

  3. Nancy C says:

    As someone who previously lived in other Canadian cities with legal crosswalks, I never understood the rationale for “courtesy crossings” in Kingston. In some ways, they seem more dangerous than no crossings at all, by creating confusion and giving pedestrians a false sense of security. So happy to hear that the provincial law has been changed – the conversion of Kingston’s courtesy crossings to pedestrian crossovers is a very welcome development!

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