Watch above: The mayor is demanding a safety review of a crosswalk on Jasper Ave. after a 19-year-old was hit last night. Kendra Slugoski reports.
EDMONTON — Crosswalk safety has been thrust into the spotlight after two recent serious incidents in the city.
Last Friday, an elderly woman was killed after being hit by a pick-up truck while attempting to cross a street in west Edmonton.
According to statistics from the City of Edmonton, a pedestrian’s chances of survival are only 45 per cent if hit by a vehicle going 50 kilometres per hour. The probability of the pedestrian being killed increases to 85 per cent if the vehicle is travelling at 60 km/h.
The mayor is calling for an immediate safety review of a downtown intersection after a 19-year-old woman was struck by a vehicle while crossing Jasper Avenue Wednesday night.
Between January 2009 and May 2012, there have been three pedestrian collisions at the 119 St. and Jasper Ave. intersection.
Police were called to the area around 9 p.m., where they found a woman on the ground in a marked crosswalk near the Earls restaurant. The company confirms she is an Earls employee.
She was taken to hospital in critical condition.
According to witnesses, she was walking southbound when she was allegedly struck by an oncoming vehicle travelling east.
Witnesses told Global News they saw the woman fly through the air after she was struck.
Those crossing Jasper Ave. at that particular intersection have six lanes of traffic to cross. The crosswalk is not controlled by flashing lights.
“I’ve asked the Transportation Department to take an immediate look at the safety of this intersection,” said Don Iveson. “I want to make sure that there is a full review because I’ve heard lots of concerns about this intersection historically, so it’s time for a second look.”
Those who work in the area say the crossing is dangerous, and also believe something needs to be done.
“There’s always people almost getting hit,” said Kyle Dillon, a construction worker who is working on a condominium building one block west of the intersection.
“No one knows when someone’s crossing. And there’s three lanes going one way and a bus gets in the way and blocks sight of view. It happens a lot.”
Diane Bergeron, who is blind, works at the Canadian National Institute of the Blind located at 120 St. and Jasper Ave. She says there are two crosswalks in the area she will not use. As a result, she’s forced to take a detour to the 121 St. crossing, where there are lights and an audible signal.
“I never cross the street at an intersection without a light, by myself, if I can help it because it’s just too hard to navigate,” she said.
“I don’t want my headstone to say that I had the right of way.”
They’re all calling for lights at the crossing, but when reviewed in December, the city says the crosswalk did not meet the proper criteria for flashing lights.
“It’s based on the traffic volume and certainly based on the pedestrian volume,” explained Gerry Shimko, with the city’s Office of Traffic Safety.
The city admits the volume may have changed, but adds when crossing six lanes of traffic, pedestrians need to be on the lookout.
“Pedestrians must make the eye contact with the drivers, drivers must make the eye contact with pedestrians,” explained Shimko.
Although the investigation is still in its early stages, investigators do not believe alcohol or speed were factors.
No charges have been laid at this time.
There have been four pedestrian fatalities in Edmonton so far this year.
With files from Kendra Slugoski, Global News.
*Editor’s note: This story was originally posted the evening of July 9th, updated July 10th with details of the incident, and again July 11th with the survival statistics.
© Shaw Media, 2014