By Adrian Duyzer
Published December 04, 2012
An elderly woman who lived in Dundas, Kitty MacLeod, has died as the result of the ongoing failure to provide adequate pedestrian infrastructure in Hamilton.
Today's Spectator tells a story that is so frustrating, so outrageous, and ultimately so tragic, that I could hardly believe what I was reading.
Consider these details:
Let's recap: the intersection is near old age homes and known to be dangerous. Families have been pushing to have a crosswalk installed at the intersection for two years, going so far as to submit a petition, and the best the city can offer is to install one in five years time.
Instead, the elderly residents who live near this intersection are told to walk to Ogilvie Street and back, a distance of 630 meters, which is well over half a kilometer, just to safely cross the street!
Now that someone has died - an entirely preventable tragedy - the councillor for that area, Russ Powers, says he will talk to city staff "to see whether we can get this moved up and dealt with. Maybe we can shuffle some dollars around."
How about sounding a clarion call of leadership and demanding safe pedestrian infrastructure across the entire city before more people die?
How about putting an immediate end to the ongoing sacrifice of our population's most vulnerable citizens just so people can race down our streets?
You know, Raise the Hammer has an entire section called Walkability Fail that details numerous examples of precisely this sort of situation.
Often, these stories are so ridiculous that they're actually kind of amusing to read. But you can only really feel that way when you forget what these stories are really all about: a dangerous disregard for pedestrians, cyclists, and vulnerable citizens that leads directly to tragic, preventable deaths.
My sincere and heartfelt sympathies go out to Kitty MacLeod's friends and family. Ms. MacLeod, you didn't deserve to die that way, and I am truly, truly sorry you did.
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