Valley resident, councillor continue fight for crosswalk

‘My biggest fear is it’s going to take an accident to get something done’

Published on August 20, 2014
Valley resident Bruce Asselstine will continue to fight for a crosswalk near Burris and/or Homestead Drive. The transportation department has indicated the area doesn’t warrant a crosswalk, but area residents disagree. Monique Chiasson – Truro Daily News 

VALLEY – Valley residents are being urged to take further action if they want another crosswalk in their community.

Colchester County Coun. Wade Parker attended a Village of Bible Hill monthly meeting Tuesday where he expressed the need for a crosswalk at the intersection of College Road and Burris Drive, despite results of a Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department study, which indicated a crosswalk is not warranted in that location.

“The transportation department said not enough people use it … there are 4,000 vehicles a day pass there. To me, that’s a lot of vehicles,” said Parker, adding area residents have wanted a crosswalk for a while.

Bruce Asselstine, who lives on Edgehill Drive and with his wife, and 12-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter who attend nearby Redcliff Middle School, said his preference would be a crosswalk for Homestead Drive, which is less than a kilometre from Burris Drive. That street has an adjoining sidewalk and buses unload children there too.

However, any crosswalk in the area is better than none, he said.

“I’m not satisfied with the (no crosswalk) decision … and I’ll continue to raise the issue,” said Asselstine.

Parker suggests concerned residents create a crosswalk petition and get a letter of support from the RCMP and area schools. Those pieces of correspondence, Parker said, could be shared with the county and forwarded to the transportation department. Asselstine said he’s working on that.

“The nearest crosswalk (in this area) is at Saywood Estates and that’s 1.8 km down the road. There are crosswalks by Dal AC and adults use that. There’s nothing for the young kids here,” said Asselstine.

Parker agreed, telling the Truro Daily News, “there’s absolutely a need for (a crosswalk). My biggest fear is it’s going to take an accident to get something done.”

Rob Jerrott, district traffic supervisor with the transportation department, told this paper the fact is the area does not meet transportation requirements. In a July 7 letter from Jerrott to the Municipality of Colchester, he stated a crosswalk warrant analysis was completed at the end of June and included site visits, pedestrian crossing counts, traffic volume and collision numbers.

Jerrott confirmed the analysis indicated the “number of pedestrians crossing at this location is low” – 13 pedestrians in 12 hours with only one of them under the age of 12. Crosswalks are not warranted in an area where fewer than 100 pedestrians cross the road during a 12-hour period.

Asselstine was doubtful of those numbers.

“I can assure you there are more kids using it than that.”

Jerrott’s letter also said there haven’t been any recorded collisions at the site and other requirements for a crosswalk aren’t met. For example, the area must have a sidewalk or walking path but there isn’t one on the south south side of College Road or on Burris Drive. Also, there isn’t a traffic light or stop sign at the intersection.

Despite all that, Parker said a crosswalk is needed.

“Speed on College Road is also definitely an issue,” he said, adding it would cost about $40,000 to construct the crosswalk.

If the crosswalk isn’t constructed, Jerrott recommends pedestrians continue to be mindful of traffic.

“People observe traffic now, and they should be doing that. If they see (crosswalk) lines they make the false assumption of safety.”

Twitter: tdnMonique