Residents concerned with the safety of a pedestrian crossing on Anderson and Pine streets may be interested to know that the crossing has been relocated approximately 200 metres further east near the entrance to 1st Street.
The crossing installation began on October 15 and Hugh Eberle, district manager for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, said they expect the LED illuminated signs to be complete by this week.
He said the sign faces are internally illuminated overhead lights, not pedestrian controlled lights.
There have been several reported accidents causing injury involving pedestrians and vehicles over the years along this stretch of road.
ICBC records show there have been three vehicle crashes at Anderson and Pine streets and a total of 17 vehicle crashes on Anderson Street between Front Street and Nelson Avenue from 2009 to 2013.
Nelson Police Department said they know of at least two pedestrian accidents, one of which the pedestrian was seriously injured in 2010 and another saw the victim go to the hospital in 2012.
Sgt. Dino Falcone said the police’s recommendations to the Ministry of Transportation did include an amber flashing light at that pedestrian crossing.
One Pine Street resident, Leslie Frampton, has been collecting signatures for a petition asking the City of Nelson to add a traffic light at what is now the old crossing. The first she knew of the crossing change was when she saw road crews removing the white crossing stripes off the pavement on Friday, October 31.
She said the new crossing location won’t do much good without any traffic lights. She went on to explain that she has been “bumped” by vehicles three times using the crosswalk including once when a vehicle hit the grocery cart she was pushing, which then swung around and hit her. She said the vehicle in that instance did not stop.
Frampton said she still plans to present her petition to Nelson Council as she still wants a traffic light installed.
Ebele explained the reasoning behind the location change.
“With the 2013 residential development of the three-story Anderson Gardens housing facility dedicated to low-income seniors and people with disabilities, the City of Nelson and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure reassessed the existing crossing and decided to enhance the safety of the Hwy 3A (Anderson Street) crossing by moving the location and improving the lighting at the crossing.”
Eberle said “through a very collaborative effort and funding partnership agreement, the ministry and the City of Nelson chose the site at 1st Street” for three reasons.
The new location offered the best sight lines for both directions of traffic on Anderson Street, it provided direct access to the existing bus stop on 1st Street and is a central access point for residents in the area.
Eberle stated that “the design of the new crosswalk also includes a number of special features such as an overhead back-lit LED sign to bring further awareness to motorists of the presence of a crosswalk and the signs will include LED lights that shine down on the crosswalk – illuminating pedestrians that are waiting for, or using the crosswalk.
The safety of the highway user is of the up-most importance for the Ministry.”
In the Southern Interior, on average, 12 pedestrians are killed and 240 pedestrians are injured in crashes every year. (ICBC and police data from 2009 to 2013.)
For information on pedestrian safety, check out ICBC’s current campaign at icbc.com/road-safety/sharing-road/.