A new pedestrian crossover opened in Thunder Bay, Ont., at the corner of Simpson and Ogden Streets on Tuesday.

The new crossing made it the third such crossover installed in the northwestern Ontario city. The others are located at  Walsh and Selkirk Streets, and Algoma Street and Cornwall Avenue.

The Norwest Community Health Centres advocated to have a crossover put on this corner. Many of their clients use the bus stop across the street and have young children with them when they cross. The staff parking lot is also located across the street.

"Simpson Street is a very busy street and with the pedestrian crossover it allows us to safely cross the street," said Juanita Lawson, the CEO of Norwest Community Health Centres.

Many of the organization's staff came out on Tuesday to try the crossover, along with the project's engineer, Rick Harms, and Paul Pugh, the area's ward councillor.

However, many drivers didn't appear to know what to do at the intersection. Some cars stopped after the stopping line or went right through while pedestrians were crossing. Many also didn't know when they were suppose to start again.

"These are new, there's still an education program both for drivers and pedestrians to know how to use them," said Harms.

crossing street

Staff from Norwest Community Health Centres and the city of Thunder Bay came out to try out the new crossover. Norwest Community Health Centres have been advocating for a crossoverat this intersection to make it easier for clients and staff to cross the street. (Jackie McKay)

These are the rules

Pedestrians must press the cross button and wait for the overhead lights to start flashing.

Cars must stop behind the indicated line when the lights are flashing. When the cars are fully stopped behind the line pedestrians may cross. Once the pedestrian has reached the other side safely, vehicles may proceed even if the lights are still flashing.

"With the clinic here it's one of the parts of the city that has the heaviest foot traffic, as well as vehicle traffic," said Pugh. "It's very important for the safety of all concerned that we get this crossover into this area."

Harms said they are also considering adding another pedestrian crossover on the west side of Simpson Street.