Elderly Pedestrian Struck at Gage and Maplewood

By Ryan McGreal
Published November 21, 2013

Hamilton Police report that a 78-year-old woman is in hospital after being struck by an automobile while crossing the street at Gage Avenue and Maplewood Avenue.

She was crossing within a marked crosswalk on November 20 at 6:05 AM, when a vehicle struck her as it was making a left turn from Gage onto Maplewood. She was taken to hospital with what police describe as "extensive injuries" and is in serious condition.

The driver has been charged with Careless Driving and driving with an Obstructed Windshield.

Careless Driving is a serious charge that police are normally reluctant to charge because it is difficult to prove. According to the Highway Traffic Act, the charge of Careless Driving applies to someone who:

drives a vehicle or street car on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $400 and not more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition his or her licence or permit may be suspended for a period of not more than two years.

More often, drivers who strike pedestrians face the lesser charge of Failing to Yield, which carries a $500 fine.

Most Vulnerable Road Users

The persistent cliche of the negligent, entitled pedestrian sauntering across the street paints a false and misleading picture: in fact, the vast majority of pedestrians who are injured and killed on Hamilton streets are senior citizens.

Nor does the evidence indicate that these injuries and deaths are due to the carelessness or negligence of pedestrians. A 2007 study [PDF] by the City of Toronto found that in the majority of cases where a vehicle struck a pedestrian, the pedestrian was crossing lawfully in a crosswalk.

Last year, a pedestrian report by the Ontario Coroner concluded that senior citizens and children are disproportionately the victims of automobile-pedestrian collisions, and that these pedestrian fatalities are preventable.

The report recommended a "complete streets" approach to road design that makes room for all road users - pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and drivers - as well as reducing speed limits, increasing the number of pedestrian crosswalks, and more and better education on how to reduce the risk of collision.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted November 21, 2013 at 21:09:05

Crossing Harvester is fun walking from Applyby GO to work. I, and a bunch of others that just got off a bus, waited for a break in the cars, when there was finally a little gap we scampered across like rats, at a side street with no markings as there are none on these industrial roads. Fortunately agile able bodied adults all of us.

Anyways, point is it got me thinking about how crossings are merciless. If you don't get out of the way in time you get run down or honked at. Sometimes if your timing is off a little in a tough spot, someone takes their foot off the gas at least. But you become used to it living here, and of course learn a habit to yield to vehicles and run like you're playing frogger at some of these tough spots. After all, one does not stop their car in the middle of wide arterial racetrack road to let someone cross between lights. Even if it's in a residential area.

Then you travel somewhere where courtesy crossings are plentiful and everyone comes to a stop as soon as they see you looking to cross. And then it comes into full contrast how sick it is here in Ontario at the moment.

Now that intersection has a light and if this driver got a Careless then they were either aggressive or distracted and the lady crossing had right of way. Still pretty harsh streets for the most part, if you walk too slow you might die.

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By reuben (registered) - website | Posted November 21, 2013 at 22:42:24

This intersection recently got the bump-out / knockdown stick / zebra crossing treatment as well.

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By Gage Parker (anonymous) | Posted November 21, 2013 at 23:45:50 in reply to Comment 95047

While I truly do applaud the initiative to add the bump outs and knock down sticks, I think that they should be on Maplewood and not Gage. This would be similar to the Locke street example where a two lane road has two very wide lanes which make crossing difficult.
It would also serve to slow down the drivers turning onto Maplewood.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 22, 2013 at 00:00:14 in reply to Comment 95048 fact, they should be on both Maplewood and Gage. Both are horribly over-built roads. Gage probably has like 3-5,000 cars a day. It's built to handle 40,000. Incredible waste of money upkeeping and maintaining that much roadway every year. Maplewood is also crazy wide. No clue why, but the knockdown sticks should narrow it to smaller lanes for sure.

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By logic (anonymous) | Posted November 22, 2013 at 11:03:57 in reply to Comment 95049

why do the lawrence bike lanes end at gage? they should continue all the way up. gage eventually becomes 1 lane anyways. the traffic department is totally out to lunch.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted November 28, 2013 at 19:33:41

Why not sensationalize this event such as Ryan did When he stated that Hamilton's fast dangerous streets are killing seniors and children? Why not title the post something like Two way streets and bump outs are killing seniors and children?

I suppose the simple answer is because it's not true. My point isn't that speed isn't dangerous. I'm not trying to suggest that fast streets are good or safe. My point is that how RTH uses events to push it's own agenda is nauseating. When someone is killed on a one way street, it's the one way streets fault. When someone is killed on a two way street, well it's anything but the two way streets fault. I wish RTH would look at facts for facts and present them in a fair way without trying to capitalize on every death to push an agenda.

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By what-ever (anonymous) | Posted November 28, 2013 at 22:17:33 in reply to Comment 95270

First of all, "RTH" is not a sentient being and second of all the "agenda" being "pushed" (or to put it less ridiculously, the "common opinion" being "shared") by those writing for RTH is safer streets for all users regardless of traffic direction. You can quit the fake concern act now.

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By Sit, roll over, good lap dog (anonymous) | Posted December 08, 2013 at 10:04:52 in reply to Comment 95279

Thanks for being the mouthpiece of RTH. You can call it what you like, but there's a clear agenda on this site - anti-2-way (or if you prefer to cleanse it, "complete streets" or "pro-2-way"), no cars, we all eat granola and end each night singing kumbaya while holding hands around the fires kept fed by environmentally friendly products.

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By whoops (anonymous) | Posted December 08, 2013 at 10:05:17 in reply to Comment 95704

sHould read anti-1-way, rather than anti-2-way.

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