Dartmouth residents unhappy Victoria Road crosswalk to be removed
A crosswalk on a busy Dartmouth road is going to be removed due to having what the municipal government considers low usage, and residents say they’re unhappy with the decision.
“I think it’s a bad thing to do. I use this intersection quite a bit and, because the white lines are so large, the drivers can see it,” said Janice Corbett on Tuesday.
The marked crosswalk is located at the intersection of Victoria Road and Vanessa Drive.
On Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, the municipal government conducted a review of the crosswalk between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and 30 people in total were counted as having crossed the crosswalk.
“What they want to do is get an accurate representation of how many people are crossing the street in that area, so they take it during peak times, peak days, and during nice weather,” said government spokesperson Nick Ritcey.
The threshold is 15 people per hour over a seven-hour period. The distances to other crosswalks also factor into removal decisions, he added.
Michael McCluskey, who lives near the crosswalk, said he thinks that “a fair number of people” use the crosswalk.
“We talk about making it an active city, being able to move around the city without a car. I mean, removing a crosswalk is the opposite of making Halifax-Dartmouth a walkable city,” he said.
There are two marked crosswalks on Victoria Road a few houses away on both sides of the crosswalk in the question.
McCluskey, son of a former area councillor, said it would be more understandable if there wasn’t a crosswalk there to begin with but, since it is there, he doesn’t see the merit in removing it.
“If a crosswalk is relatively dormant, it actually becomes a safety issue as drivers in that area become complacent, and they just assume that people won’t actually be crossing at that crosswalk,” Ritcey said.
There are notices on both ends of the crosswalk stating that the crosswalk will be removed. Those signs have to be posted at least five days prior to removal, he said.
The crosswalk is expected to be removed in the coming weeks.
Crosswalk removals only occur when the road is being resurfaced and a review has been conducted.
Three other crosswalks in Dartmouth have been removed or are going to be removed in the future.
They’re all on Breeze Drive at White Street, Lethbridge Avenue, and Castleton Crescent.
Two other crosswalks in the municipality are being assessed.
“More than 10” crosswalks will be upgraded, four of which will get new lighting systems, said Ritcey.
No complaints have been submitted to the government as of about midday Tuesday regarding the Victoria Road crosswalk removal, he added.
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