Comox council protecting pedestrians
Comox council took a step forward Wednesday in improving the safety of pedestrian crossing at a major intersection in the town.
Council approved at the committee of the whole meeting to include $57,000 for a pedestrian crossing project at the Robb/Anderton intersection as well as Brooklyn Elementary School as outlined in the Comox Transportation Study for consideration in 2012 for the 2012-2016 financial plan.
They also requested School District 71 to complete a safe routes to school plan for Robb Road School and implement and maintain a crossing program to support the crossing of schoolchildren before and after school.
The motion follows a delegation of parents who presented their concerns to council in early December.
In his report, Glenn Westendorp, public works superintendent for the Town, indicated crossing guards in the Robb/Anderton intersection offers several advantages over pedestrian beacons or pedestrian activated traffic signals.
"Anderton is a very busy road ... my fear is that we don't have a lot of arterials and if we try and chase the traffic off or if we make it too difficult, (drivers will) try and look for other roads in other neighbourhoods. That's where the problem is going to spread," he said.
"This is why I'm hesitant to introduce the beacons because I can see where a single student walks up, hits the beacon, stops the traffic, crosses and just after another student comes along, hits the beacon and causes too many interruptions.
"To the driver, they're going to ignore the beacon or drive through it or look for a whole other path to get to where they need to go, and that's where I see the advantage of the splitter island."
The bulbing or splitter island could provide a refuge at the centre of a crossing, added Westendorp in the report. It could also reduce traffic speed through a restriction in lane widths, prevent passing to the right and increase the visibility of pedestrian crossing signs.
He estimated pending budget approval, the splitter island could be in place before the next school year.