Saskatoon committee looks to mitigate jaywalking near Aden Bowman

Saskatoon's transportation committee has moved a conversation over jaywalking at Aden Bowman Collegiate to city council's general meeting in two weeks. Dayne Winter / Global News

Saskatoon city council will soon consider how best to increase safety in an area known for jaywalking.

The city’s administration provided a report to its transportation committee Monday, outlining a recommendation to construct an urban landscape project at Aden Bowman Collegiate.

The $125,000 plan would include a square, as well as landscaping and a fence that would mitigate jaywalking across Clarence Avenue, between the school and a shopping centre.

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However Cate Soffer, a member of the school’s community council, told the committee that much of the student body was opposed to the idea because many believe the money would better spent on education. She said the group was also against to any sort of fencing around the area.

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Instead Soffer said the community council hoped that a mid-block pedestrian crossing would be installed across the street.

However, the administration’s report said that option was dismissed because “it does not follow accepted transportation engineering practices,” since there’s another crossing nearby.

“Pedestrians would be placed at risk through the sense of a ‘false security’ of installing a mid-block crossing in a location that is unfamiliar and unexpected by drivers,” the report read.

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Other alternative measures were discussed Monday, including increasing enforcement in the area and installing radar-triggered signage that would show drivers how fast they’re going when passing by the school. Ward 7 Coun. Mairin Loewen, who asked for the report last June, said that the issue is “technically a jaywalking problem, but it’s much more complicated than that.”

“We’re just going to try to find some more incremental solutions and continue the conversation in hopes that we can improve safety,” Loewen said to reporters.

“I think we need to be realistic about the fact that people want to get where they’re going as quickly as possible.”

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