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LETTER: Pedestrian safety requires more than raised crosswalks


Re: ‘Saanich raises road to slow fast-moving cyclists’ by Chris Campbell.

An essential part of “universal design” public infrastructure is consistency to avoid confusion. Numerous infrastructure variations such as raised crosswalks and other ideas continue to cause difficulties for access by blind pedestrians. Many cyclists pay little attention to others having to traverse their path.

As all journalists were invited to the video presentation at Pearkes Arena on Sept. 13 by the Canadian Federation of the Blind (CFB) in conjunction with the National Federation of the Blind of the U.K., Mr. Campbell would have come to understand what we, as blind people, are facing with the AAA bike lanes. Many cyclists view AAA bike lanes as exclusive, so attempting to slow cyclists is a futile venture.

The video, compiled by Sarah Gayton, the NFBUK’s street access and campaign co-ordinator, demonstrated the dangerous interactions between cyclists and transit users who have to cross bike lanes to access bus stops.

The presentation was also viewed in Vancouver at the Delta Hotel in Burnaby. It showed, time and again, cyclists not yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalks, continuing on their merry way not wanting to yield or stop. This occurred even with flashing caution lights. The screening was by invitation only due to previous issues with aggressive cycling groups abroad.

The idea that a flashing light will remove this barrier is absurd. While installing raised crosswalks is the city’s attempt to slow cyclists down it is still not sufficient to provide safe access for pedestrians.

Graeme McCreath