Stop signs, crosswalks coming to stretch of Halifax street plagued by collisions

One of the many accidents at the corner of Robie and Stanley streets in Halifax taken by resident Steve MacKay. Provided/Steve MacKay

For the past few years, Steve MacKay has been documenting the numerous car crashes near his home on Halifax’s Robie Street.

On Twitter, photos of T-bone crashes and vehicles ending up on the lawn of a nearby home fill up MacKay’s feed.

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Just over the past five days, there was one bad collision between two vehicles, and another involving a motorcycle.

“This is my street,” MacKay said.

“Going outside and seeing car crashes on a near monthly basis and almost weekly at this point, it plays a toll on you. And I kind of realized unless I was really going to push it … I don’t think anybody in the city was going to prioritize it.”

MacKay has been advocating since 2015 for changes at the intersection of Robie and Stanley streets — keeping in touch with the local councillors and starting a petition with 400 signatures this January.

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On Tuesday, the municipality finally indicated changes were coming.

According to the municipality, staff have “started the process” to implement measures on the section of Robie Street — north of Stairs Street — to address safety issues.

“As an immediate first step, all-way stop control will be implemented at the intersection of Robie Street and Stairs Street, and at the intersection of Robie Street and Columbus Street,” HRM spokesperson Ryan Nearing told Global News in an email.

“This will involve the addition of new stop signs on Robie Street and painted stop bars and crosswalks on all legs of these intersections.”

As well, staff are investigating potential physical traffic calming measures for the corridor.

Those physical aspects would require design work, “so there is no definite timeline for installation,” Nearing added.

MacKay said he is thrilled with the new measures, and that it is more than he expected.

Last year, one of the crashes resulted in the death of an 80-year-old woman. Now, he’s hoping the changes will save lives.

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“Absolutely. Lives are going to be saved and not just lives being saved, but people are going to be able to live their lives better,” he said.

He noted that most of the crashes he’s seen have been T-bone collisions. Of the 25 or so crashes he’s seen at the intersection over the past four years, he said he’s only ever seen one car been able to “drive away.”

The rest have all been write-offs, he said.

“That takes a financial toll on the families involved and even people that walk away from these crashes,” he said.

“Just because they don’t have broken bones, just because they don’t have head injuries, doesn’t mean that they’re not going to have injuries that plague them for the rest of their lives.”

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