It’s an area of Saskatoon notorious for pedestrian-involved collisions.
“There’s so many factors at play when it comes to all types of collisions, but pedestrian involved collisions especially,” city Coun. Hilary Gough said.” “22nd Street is really completely unique.”
Police were called to six collisions involving pedestrians on 22nd Street last year, each one between Circle Drive and Idylwyld Drive.
“It is an issue,” Alyson Edwards, with Saskatoon Police Service, said. “It continues to be a concern for us because all of these are avoidable.”
Between 2012 and 2016, 57 people were hit by vehicles on the same stretch of 22nd Street, resulting in 49 injuries and one death.
These incidents come after the City of Saskatoon implemented measures in 2011 to try and curb the number of collisions. The measures include the installation of two pedestrian crossing signals at Avenue M and Avenue R, bright signage to warn drivers and an educational program to increase awareness.
While the numbers remain a concern, the city said these incidents are dropping year-over-year.
“There was a reduction in pedestrian involved collisions by about 52 per cent, which is very substantial,” Gough said.
While the city sees the reduction as good news, Gough is looking into a report from administration with more information on possible collision reduction strategies.
“We have seen some success, but with the data we’ve reported on so far it’s too short of a timeframe to really know if those results have stuck,” Gough said.
The report will focus on 22nd Street in its entirety because prior studies mainly focused on the stretch between Avenue H and Whitney Avenue; the most problematic area.
“Things like focusing on driver speed, some sight-line things,” Gough said. “We could actually restrict crossing at non-controlled intersections, for instance, but that is a pretty heavy handed measure.”
A prior administration report from 2015 recommends the city look at improvements to overhead lighting and crosswalk signage. The report says additional pedestrian activated crossing signals aren’t warranted, but the city should investigate signal timing to give pedestrians more time to cross and automatic detection technology for intersections.
“What I’ve asked for is an update to that report to current data, so we can have more information about the reduction in collisions and has it stuck,” Gough said. “Is it more about pedestrian activity? Driver activity? A combination of both?”
Gough hopes some improvements can get underway by the summer, depending on what the budget allows.
The report is expected by mid-2018.