New crosswalks risky for pedestrians

by | Dec 3, 2019 | Campus News, Guelph-Humber, Headlines, News, North

Galvin Zaldivar, News Editor

Inder Sandhu admits to almost feeling unsafe at the crosswalks between the Barrett Centre of Technology Innovation and the parking garage.

“Cars in the morning, especially when I come [for] 8 o’clock classes, they’re zooming in trying to get parking,” the University of Guelph-Humber Business student told Humber News.

Sandhu also said because of the morning rush some people don’t take advantage of the crossing lights, herself included.

The new crosswalks feature flashing lights and signs but students and drivers say they would prefer a stop sign. (Galvin Zaldivar)

Others are also not sure what the flashing lights at the crosswalk mean and would prefer a stop sign instead.

“I think we need a stop sign,” said Ken Bui, a Web Design and Interactive Media student. “Drivers don’t know what [the lights] mean.”

Domenico Orlandi, a Guelph- Humber Media Studies student, said other measures would also help alleviate the problem.

“Do the drivers see that I’m going to cross or not?” he asked. “It could definitely be improved, it’s a little better if there were security guards maybe walking us back and forth.”

Driver’s like Guelph-Humber Media Studies student Alex Merrick said that the lights are insufficient.

“If I’m driving through here, I personally don’t see it because I think it’s really small,” she said.

Concerns over safety are understandable. There are 34 pedestrian deaths in Toronto so far this year, according to Toronto police.

Rob Kilfoyle, Humber’s Director of Public Safety, said his department is aware of problems with the crosswalks.

“There’s a lot of people crossing at that crosswalk and there are a lot of vehicles coming up Laneway A,” he said.

Kilfoyle said vehicles have been weaving around pedestrians, or parking right in front of the Barrett CTI, which exposes pedestrians to the risk of being hit.

“They’re dodging around those cars and if there’s somebody in the crosswalk, the potential for an accident is fairly significant,” he said.

Kilfoyle said standards and regulations governing pedestrian cross- walks differ between public and private property.

“When you’re on private property, which is what Humber College is… the regulations are different,” he said. Ontario is the only province where its driving laws do not necessarily apply on private property, however, the criminal code does.

Sandhu said the rules governing crosswalks should be the same whether they are public or private.

“They should interpret whatever the city’s (laws) out there into this one as well,” she said.

Public Safety is also currently looking at making recommendations to improve the crosswalks.

“Perhaps speedbumps,” Kilfoyle said. “We need to do some improvement to the painted lines in the laneways. It’s a little bit confusing, we’ve got two lanes that suddenly turn into one.”

He emphasizes caution at the crosswalks for pedestrians and drivers.

“Be aware of your environment and your surroundings,” Kilfoyle said.

If the crosswalk has lights, use them and keep an eye out for oncoming traffic and make eye contact with the driver, he said.

“If you’re a driver of a vehicle coming onto campus, then you need to be mindful that pedestrians have the right of way,” he said. “And also to slow down, these are interior roads, shouldn’t be going any more than say 20, 30 kilometres an hour at most.