Opinion

Action needed to save pedestrians

In light of the recent tragedy at a Qualicum Beach pedestrian crosswalk,   the City of Parksville  should begin to  address certain trouble spots and potential tragedies in this city.

 The intersection that is of particular concern to me is the one where MacMillan crosses West Hirst.  I have seen more than one automobile accident here, have heard of close calls experienced by fellow pedestrians, and have almost been struck, and not due to lack of diligence on my part, twice.

 There are a number of reasons why this intersection is problematic. West Hirst services a fairly densely populated area, and along with being a major feed into the downtown, has a very high volume of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, perhaps even more than MacMillan. 

Also, the manner by which Macmillan is configured at both sides of the intersection is of concern. The northbound lane has drivers who bomb along the curve, and who tend to be reluctant to slow down, much less, stop for pedestrians.  The southbound lane is constricted at the intersection and lacks a right-hand turn lane. 

Southbound drivers, who also tend to speed, have, on occasion with their vision blocked by a vehicle turning left, almost struck people because they were traveling too quickly and without due care. 

Overall the major reason may be that of driver indifference, if not outright aggression. Although many drivers are conscientious and courteous, granting any potential pedestrian the right of way, willingly and with grace, there are a great many, who, although this is a well-marked pedestrian crosswalk, do not slow down, much less stop.

 There are a number of simple solutions to this problem.    Ideally, a light set up such as that where MacMillan intersects with the Alberni Highway, an inspired setup in terms of simplicity and effectiveness, would be ideal, but  perhaps costly.  Perhaps installing pedestrian-controlled crossing lights might be a possibility.  At the very least, a four-way stop would help a great deal. 

 Arthur Adamache

Parksville

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