Transportation

Police Report Misses Big Picture

By Jason Leach
Published April 05, 2007

So far the police investigation into Hamilton's latest pedestrian death has informed us that the elderly lady was crossing "hundreds of metres from the closest controlled intersection".

Sadly, the police force - a group supposed to have public safety as its main concern - doesn't tell us the whole story.

The woman was hundreds of metres from a controlled intersection because the closest intersection is hundreds of metres away.

Hamilton Police should be at the front of the line using their prominence and importance in our community to scold city hall for allowing such dangerous stretches of road to exist in our city.

There are dozens of businesses, offices and high density residential neighbourhoods in the Main and Prospect area. To expect someone to walk all the way back to Springer (closer to Sherman than Gage) or all the way to Gage to cross the street is lunacy.

Let's hope the police will issue a strong statement recommending the un-timing of stoplights and installation of stoplights in areas like this that deserve one.

As we saw yesterday, Hamilton's system for installing lights is completely flawed. Again, I refer to Main and Strathcona, an area very similar to Main and Prospect. Both of these intersections are in desperate need of pedestrian stoplights.

Apparently we'll only get around to doing so once vehicles, not simply people, are damaged.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By Markwhittle (registered) - website | Posted April 05, 2007 at 17:58:58

Does the charge Vehicular Manslaughter ring a bell Jason?

Chief Mullan should pressure the Crown to get a subpoena for his cellphone records (the driver was talking on his cell phone when he ploughed into a pedestrian in the curb lane after she crossed three lanes moments before, killing her instantly) and throw the book at him.

If she got across three lanes it was almost deserted, as far as heavy rush out traffic goes.

The calming effect of a traffic stop light should be done immediately if not sooner.

Councilors were elected to make decisions that go for or against staff recommendations. In this case I would do it regardless.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 05, 2007 at 18:41:24

I've had that happen to me several times on Main and at York and Strathcona (which apparently is a pleasant and safe crossing according to city staff). You look and see no cars anwhere...get half way across and a whole pile have roared up from nowhere. it's unbelievable. When people visit us and we take our kids over to Dundurn Park they always ask why we're hurrying when crossing York...I tell them, "walk like that and you'll find out"....sure enough the parade of nascar drivers comes out of nowhere and people can't believe it. maybe I need to stand there and get nailed someday in order to get anyone's attention. although these most 6 recent deaths don't seem to have registered with anyone at city hall.

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By Yessir (anonymous) | Posted April 10, 2007 at 16:38:09

Yes, I've often thought this when driving on Mohawk Road West. Apartments, many housing seniors on one side of the road, a strip mall with the banks and grocery store that apartment residents could use on the other side of 4 lanes, and a pretty long walk to the traffic light at the corner, especially for a senior in Jannuary. This is a case of bad civic planning, and a source of potential accidents.

A similar situation exists with Villa Kiev seniors' housing at Limeridge Mall. Good to be close to the conveniences, but most of those conveniences are 4 lanes of traffic and a big parking lot away.

You are right to question the city's attempts to create in-city expressways from multi-use roads, such as Burlington St., Main St. and the two central mountain accesses. But these also become sources of city revenue, allowing police to hand out speeding tickets instead of designing roads to slow and stop for pedestrians and cyclists.

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