Too Many Vehicle-Pedestrian Crashes, Near Misses in Prince Rupert


#1

Vehicle-pedestrian crashes and near misses happen too often on the streets of Prince Rupert. Most recently, a pedestrian was struck on October 3rd. Many people talk about feeling uneasy walking, cycling and driving here, especially in the dark, but also in broad daylight. Everyone has a scary story to share and some of those stories end tragically. We can change this situation.

People sometimes argue that crashes would not happen if everyone would just obey the law, use common sense, wear reflective clothing, etc. However, according to the American Journal of Public Health, with the exception of campaigns directed at children, road safety education campaigns are ineffective. On the other hand, changing the way we design our streets is HIGHLY effective in reducing pedestrian-related crashes. Changes such as intersection bulb-outs, pedestrian-controlled intersections and protected bicycle lanes reduce pedestrian-related crashes faster, more effectively and for less money than campaigns aimed at changing people’s fashion choices. Simple street modifications bring immediate benefits for relatively little money.

‘Complete’ streets are streets designed for all, ages, abilities and modes of travel. On complete streets, speeding has come down by up to 75%, pedestrian-related crashes have been reduced by up to 80% and crashes that do happen are less severe for everyone. Parents feel comfortable letting their children bike to school and into town; elders and people with mobility impairments can access sidewalks and cross streets easily; taking the bus is pleasant and convenient, and drivers get to their destination safely.

Mayor Lee Brain will be unveiling more plans for Hays 2.0 on November 22nd and he is inviting Rupertites to get involved. Let’s let the mayor know we need safer, more accessible and more enjoyable streets for everyone.

Chris Lightfoot

www.completestreetsforprincerupert.com


#2

I find it is the mindset of pedestrians in Prince Rupert. If some of them did what they do here in Vancouver they would be dead. No consideration that a driver may not see you or have the ability to stop fast enough.
Try riding a motorcycle. Your life will depend on considering this too. You learn very fast that not all drivers can see you and you watch for the signs that they don’t.


#3

That intersection on 2nd Ave and 3rd St should be the first for a complete makeover.

No lights, high foot and vehicle traffic, and uncontrolled crosswalks on all four sides. What a stupid intersection.


#4

Hi PLA,
Thanks for your feedback about which intersection should be prioritized for a ‘complete’ makeover (I like the pun, by the way.).

Complete Streets for Prince Rupert is advocating for modifications to the built environment that make mobility safer for all ages, abilities and modes of travel. Check us out online at www.completestreetsforprincerupert.com

Regards,

Chris


#5

No problem.

No pun intended btw. lol


#6

The only thing you can do to fix this issue is to upgrade the system, true. I see near misses on a daily basis. The worst ones for me personally are when there is a clear view of the people crossing and people just don’t stop (cellphone users, nose pickers and just plain idiots).

First of all, the “no parking/no stopping” yellow stripes on the curb are too short, everywhere. Any SUV (let alone pickup truck) parked (legally) besides a crossing will completely obscure the view up until you are 10 feet from the pedestrian crossing even if you’re going at speed limit. Mix that with pedestrian not looking before they cross, you got a recipe for disaster. Either ask people to drive 20km/h or give more space between parking and crossing so we can see people from further. I try to drive 20 but even then from 1st Street to 8th, I seem to attract people walking, looking down at their phones, making a B-Line from seemingly going straight to turning straight in front of my car, looking surprised I couldn’t just guess that they were interested in turning onto live traffic.

Second, I see so many people parked in those short yellow zones, someone needs to give them tickets. Nobody cares you went in for a quick bottle of water. Nobody cares you didn’t have time to walk a half a block to find parking. No means no. Ticket, tow. While talking about tickets, someone needs to tell the authority in town that there is a gold mine into sitting at a school zone and catch those nascar drivers zooming by on a daily basis doing 50+. I dare you to sit at Charles Hays and Conrad and look at how many maniacs just don’t g*** a s*** about (perhaps) your kid. I also would like to see a little more than a Police Officer, once in a blue moon, with binoculars trying to catch phones users. It’s a pestilence in this town. Not a day goes by without seeing TENS of people with their heads buried in their crotch with a thumb in their *** at the wheel, taking a turn or zooming by a mother and stroller trying to cross but having to take a step back because death is upon them.

Third, it’s dark here. Most of the time. The rain and early dark nights seem to swallow the lighting in this town. And most of all, most people love to dress in dark colors. On a dark and wet night, I can barely see the yellow lines, white lines, pedestrian crossing lines and pedestrians that are starting to cross. We need reflective lines, flashing lights and good lighting at those crossings.

Last and probably least, it’s raining here, all the time. Some people are in a hurry because they’re getting wet and cross where there is no crossing. Some others are just lazy, crossing like deers in a headlight even on clear day (deers tend to be more aware than some people I’ve seen in town). In any case, most cities I’ve visited have covers for “heavier” (ahem ahem) commercial zones. Not sure if it’s a city thing of just common courtesy from business owners, but it should be mandatory to extend roofs or at least a form of cover halfway down the sidewalk. How annoying is it to walk along 3rd avenue and get completely wet walking a block, then having to cross but be forced to wait because you know people can’t see you at 4 pm on a December 7th afternoon, when it’s dark and a truck is parked besides the crossing.

The lack of structure in the system creates drivers that lack discipline. That’s a fact for anything as far as I’m concerned. Some drivers suck but they seem to suck less when they are forced to pay attention. Or maybe I’m completely wrong.


#7

Agreed. I’m mystified by the fact that pedestrians step out into traffic without looking here in PR.


#8

Dear Eric,

Thanks for your feedback. You’re completely right about the importance of visibility and about the need to slow traffic, especially in school zones. Our Complete Streets for Prince Rupert slideshow attempts to address these points. You may be interested in viewing slides 9, 15 and 17-20.

Regards,

Chris


#9

I’m wondering, from your research how you determined the amount of money Prince Rupert’s small but viable fashion industry spends one their influence based campaigns? Further, I’d be surprised that you could build a pedestrian controlled intersection for that amount - but I could be wrong.

If indeed we are looking for a solution to a Prince Rupert issue wouldn’t be wiser to identify the local issues and remediate them as a start rather than committing to expensive cookie-cutter solutions from US and Canada based organizations. We do have the talent in Prince Rupert to find some of those solutions locally and keeping the bucks local. (I’m not at all minimizing the value of engineering solutions or the organizations that support them some of the ideas are excellent).

Example: Pedestrian mobility - why does Prince Rupert continue to follow a policy(?)/practice(?) of clearing snow from the road clearing onto sidewalks? The accumulated snow is not quickly removed and forces pedestrians onto the road. Not good.

Why does Prince Rupert allow automobile owners to park on sidewalks while (not necessarily a problem able bodied pedestrians) but certainly mobility challenged pedestrians (including mobility scooters) can be forced onto the road? By the way two tires on the sidewalk does not mean you fully parked on the road.

Changing what we can change seems to be a better start.

By the way - ‘cell phone distracted’ driving, a major current problem, does not appear in the the 2003 research. Any updates?


#10

Hi Chien22,

We’re actively seeking input from locals about how to improve mobility in Prince Rupert. Thank you for your feedback! You raise some excellent points about the challenges people with mobility impairments face on our roads and sidewalks.

I’ll try to clarify my point about fashion and road safety. According to the American Journal of Public Health research article cited above, road safety education campaigns that try to reduce pedestian-related collisions by changing an aspect of people’s behaviour (e.g., campaigns that encourage us to drive slower, pay more attention, wear light-coloured/reflective clothing while walking or cycling at night, etc) don’t work, while changes to road design that slow traffic, separate pedestrians from vehicles, and increase visibility are very effective in reducing road casualties. If it has been found that road safety education campaigns don’t work, then the most effective use of our tax dollars is to invest in evidence-based solutions that are highly effective in reducing pedestrian-related fatalities and serious injuries. Although wearing light-coloured/reflective clothing at night while you walk, run or cycle is a good way to increase your visibility on the road, based on the research, spending money on a campaign to encourage people to wear such clothing is likely a waste of money. I have no information about how much money (likely none) the Prince Rupert fashion industry spends on road safety messaging. I have heard that a set of traffic lights on 2nd Avenue would cost in the ballpark of 250k to install (pedestrian-controlled signaling may be less.).

As far as distracted driving is concerned, ICBC says it is the leading cause of traffic-related fatalities, even surpassing impaired driving.

Thanks again,

Chris


#11

Roundabouts.

I know in several jurisdictions, just adding roundabouts greatly reduced fatalities.

https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/roundabouts/benefits.htm


#12

This is not the first time I’ve heard someone suggest covers over the sidewalks on third… How can the city facilitate such innovation?


#13

Prince Rupert is on an Island… BC motor-vehicle act states that golf-carts are allowed on Islands with a posted speed-limit of 30km/hr or less… What a novel idea. 30km/hr every street and avenue.


#14

Pedestrian hit.

http://www.thenorthernview.com/news/pedestrian-struck-by-vehicle-at-crosswalk/


#15

Since this thread started I have been paying attention to specific areas that I find difficult to navigate.

1, anytime of day - the crosswalk from the ScotiaBank to Bargain store
- when there are cars parked in front of Scotia Bank and you are driving west, it is almost impossible to see potential pedestrians ready to step off the curb. In the early evening with the sun in your eyes, it is even worse.

  1. anytime of the day - turning left at the stop sign at Prince Rupert Boulevard onto 11th

    • especially when there are cars parked at the corner of 11th. Watching the two lanes of traffic to the left and blinded by the parked cars that are blocking your view of traffic whipping around the curve on your right.
  2. anytime of the day stopped at the top of Conrad and wanting to cross Prince Rupert Boulevard. If there are cars parked on PRB, you have to be extra careful because cars coming from the right do not have to stop

  3. night time - turning left into Lester Centre as you are coming in from the highway. If there is traffic coming toward you, those lights make it very difficult to see the boundaries of the left turn lane

  4. similarly at night if you continue along Macbride and cross the bridge, it is difficult to see where the road becomes two lanes instead of one especially when cars are coming toward you.

  5. again at night travelling along Prince Rupert Boulevard toward Crestview - the stretch from the Mormon Church to Conrad. A few years ago, I was stopped by the police and he asked why I was braking so often. I told him that I slowed down approaching crosswalks because it was impossible to see especially on a rainy night which it was. His advice was to go slow the whole way rather than speeding up then slowing down which makes sense so please bear with me if you are driving behind me on that stretch.

These are the worst for me and five of them are relatively close together near my home. I am sure some of you could come up with lists of your own highlighting danger spots in your neighbourhood.


#16

Well, here’s the list of things that really drives me up the wall:

  1. Intersection on McBride and 9th Ave needs a red light camera. What, you didn’t know that light exist? Then…

  2. PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE AND PAY ATTENTION!!!

  3. Every single school zone in town needs some form of a speed trap. I wouldn’t be surprised if that program single handily solved the city financial problem. But joking aside, it makes me sick to see some 30 year old juvenile in a lifted $50,000 pick-up blasting through the school zone at 60km/h during school hours.

  4. Intersection on 2nd Ave and 3 St… you know the rest.


#17

Thanks so much, DWhite for these details about specific locations for improvement!

Complete Streets for Prince Rupert is planning a public event soon where the public will be invited to plot on a map their perceived most dangerous intersections, etc. However, it’s not too soon to start collecting this information and sharing it with City Council. In the meantime, I’ll invite others to write on our Facebook page about their perceived most dangerous spot in Rupert and we can add these to the map, too. If you like you can help spread the word by ‘liking’ and sharing our website or Facebook page.

Regards,

Chris