City of Parksville officials issued a release on Thursdsay, Nov. 19, saying they would like to provide context to the area of Despard Avenue West and Moilliet Street South, following an incident involving a young student who was truck by a vehicle. In a release, the city spoke of the incident on Nov. 13, when a youngster was crossing within a marked crosswalk at that intersection.
“This area of the city is seeing considerable development and construction and because of this, there is confusion about safety and capacity issues in this area,” said the release. “The city’s ongoing development planning process includes professional traffic impact assessments which in this area reviewed stop conditions, turning movement restrictions and signalization at the Despard and Moilliet intersection. Development-related growth and/or seasonal rates were applied during the studies and concluded the existing configuration would be enough to move traffic and pedestrians without significant delay or safety conflict.”
The release stated that some of the same concerns expressed during the rezoning and traffic impact assesment were raised, and that city staff initiated a review of both the school zone and the intersection.
“This study will confirm if some of the assumptions and conditions relied upon in the traffic impact assessment are holding accurate or if further upgrades are required. The intersection at Despard and Moilliet is not located within the school area or zone; however, the safety and number of pedestrians is a critical consideration of the intersection evaluation.”
Since 2014, the City of Parksville has worked with the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) from Springwood Elementary to help improve the safety of students as they travel to and from school. An example of a positive outcome of this, stated the release, is the addition of the flashing beacon crosswalk at Despard Avenue West and Hack Bery Place. It was installed to specifically provide a safer crossing location that was separate from busier intersections.
The city stated that bylaw compliance officers work with the RCMP at the start of each school year to focus on parking, speed and pedestrian safety.
They also stated that they will continue to monitor the area will adjust the intersection as appropriate to accommodate actual conditions.
— NEWS Staff, submitted