Walkability Fail

Kitty MacLeod Died For Lack Of A Crosswalk

By Adrian Duyzer
Published December 10, 2012

The Hamilton Spectator ran an op-ed piece I wrote in today's Hamilton Spectator. The piece builds on a blog post I wrote a few days ago, City's Lack Of Pedestrian Infrastructure Claims Another Life.

MacLeod, who lived across the street in an apartment building, would wait — sometimes for 30 minutes! — for a gap in traffic to safely cross to visit her brother at St. Joseph’s Villa or to access her bus stop. Her concerned son wanted her to take a cab, but she was independent and enjoyed the exercise.

Now she has died, struck by a car while simply trying to cross the street.

It’s a familiar story in Hamilton: a clearly dangerous situation for pedestrians; a city policy that favours drivers while inconveniencing or even putting at risk everyone else; a community whose pleas for change are ignored or put off. And, ultimately, a preventable tragedy.

It's simply unacceptable that this has happened and continues to happen.

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz

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By alhambra (anonymous) | Posted December 10, 2012 at 23:37:41

tragic. Not just unacceptable - this is a calculated risk, a foreseeable outcome of objective decisions made by individuals. That's getting close to criminal negligence if you ask me.

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted December 11, 2012 at 12:04:38 in reply to Comment 83710

Thats wright the city should be getting sued for crimminal negligencs

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By alhambra (anonymous) | Posted December 11, 2012 at 13:43:15 in reply to Comment 83734

here's a thought experiment for you Conrad. Let's say this had happened on a movie shoot - a fake street put up inside private property. Everything is exactly as it is here. A stagehand gets hit by a car and dies. The result would likely be a wrong in tort and damages, and criminal negligence for the studio if this was foreseeable, disregarding the driver;s role. That foreseeability would be evidenced if, for example, 630 stagehands had complained in the past of the danger, or it was common to wait 30 minutes to have to cross the street and the alternative was 300 metres away with a WALKER, or if there was a history of past incidents.

The only reason there's no criminal wrong here, and maybe no civil wrong either, is that this is a public situation where finding officials negligent would stifle the public service in their actions, and also that we are all responsible for this, in a way, because we elect crappy councillors who run a crappy ship that result in things like this happening. Yet that doesn't take away from the fact that this was wrong and preventable.

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By PearlStreet (registered) | Posted December 11, 2012 at 14:37:12

My mother lives in Govenors Green, the same building Kitty lived in. This is not the first accident of people getting hit infront, while crossing Govenors Road. Govenors Green has very little visitor parking spots, causing more people to use the seniors residence as parking. Many cross here, too many close calls. There is a blind hill there which make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted December 11, 2012 at 22:25:50 in reply to Comment 83751

so... because there's a lack of visitor parking on site, people park in a parking lot across the street that's not for them to park in, they jaywalk, and that's the city's fault? Explain.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted December 13, 2012 at 09:21:54

The Burlington tragedy and the Cootes Drive tragedy from years ago, are proof that crosswalks are not the answer. They give a false sense of security that leads innocent people to dangerous situations. The answer is more serious charges against drivers (even though people should go to the corner lights (comment away)) and (sorry to the older folk) make pedestrians walk to the corner. Drivers don't expect people to cross in the middle of the road, it's just stupidity. Sorry, I know this will piss some of you off but I'm one of those that has to pick these poor people up and everyone of them (that survive) admit they were lazy and couldn't be bothered to walk to the nearest corner. The ones who get hit in crosswalks, well, throw the driver in jail and fine them as well, and take the licence away, there is no excuse for it.

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By rrrandy (registered) - website | Posted December 15, 2012 at 22:46:33

@ woody10 - Walk to the corner and cross with the green light in the crosswalk and get killed anyway? http://governorsroad.blogspot.ca/2008/08... It's not "lazy" to expect reasonable road crossings at reasonable distances. It's people trying to get places on foot. That's not lazy, kind of by definition. The only good news I've heard about this area recently is that the city is not going to be widening the road to 4 lanes, like they planned to. Now to get a road diet and traffic calming...

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted December 16, 2012 at 08:12:39 in reply to Comment 83990

... Do you have stats that back up that a crosswalk is required here? These high-rises, townhomes, and subdivisions have been in that area for decades but it hasn't been needed. Is there actual quantifiable proof it's needed? Or because someone dies we have to do it?

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted December 19, 2012 at 00:14:28 in reply to Comment 83996

I agree with DowntowninHamilton on this. Almost any busy intersection in any busy city you can call up pedestrian accidents. And if you are using that stat at crosswalks then less is better is it not?? Explain please. I know of no reason why people need to cross at that particular part of the road anyway. The odd person who is visiting, maybe, but that happens everywhere. Common sense please.

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