The City of Duncan is considering installing new flashing crosswalk lights on the busy crosswalk at the intersection at Canada Avenue and Station Street. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Duncan considers flashing lights at busy crosswalk

Crosswalk located at intersection of Canada Avenue and Station Street considered “risky”

Darrell Samson said he’s surprised that at least one person is not struck every day on the crosswalk located at the intersection of Canada Avenue and Station Street.

Samson said he occasionally eats his lunch on nice days in Charles Hoey Park, near the train station, and the number of near misses he sees in that short amount of time on the crosswalk makes him cringe.

“It’s only a matter of time,” he said. “It’s amazing it doesn’t happen on a regular basis.”

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Duncan city council directed staff to review the safety of the crosswalk and consider the installation of flashing crosswalk lights there at its last regular meeting.

Paige MacWilliam, Duncan’s director of corporate services, said that as far as she knows, there haven’t been any deaths or major accidents at the intersection.

“It was simply identified by the city’s advisory committee on disability issues as a crosswalk that they feel is potentially risky,” she said.

In a report to council, corporate services coordinator Allison Boyd pointed out that it’s a fact that when pedestrians or people in electric wheelchairs and scooters come from behind the BMO bank building on the corner of Station Street and Canada Avenue, they are only a few steps from the crosswalk.

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“Flashing crosswalk lights would slow the pedestrian or electric wheelchair to stop and push the button (to activate the lights), and also seize the attention of the driver to stop accordingly,” Boyd said.

“The advisory committee on disability issues feels that improving the crosswalk is of a high priority for the safety of pedestrians and wheelchair drivers.”

Staff are also being asked to consider the costs of installing flashing crosswalk lights at the intersection in the city’s 2020 budget considerations.

Emmet McCusker, the city’s director of development services and public works, said that depending on the complexity of the installation, including the number of flashing lights, additional concrete work required, the cost can vary between approximately $10,000 and $25,000 per location.

“We haven’t completed the design at that location, but I expect it will be between $10,000 and $15,000,” he said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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