Pedestrian strategy aims to improve Calgary road safety in 2017

City of Calgary officials and pedestrian advocates are hoping 2017 will be a safer year for those walking along city roadways.

‘People are starting to pay attention,’ say pedestrian safety advocates

More rapid flash beacons will be added to Calgary streets to signal when pedestrians are crossing. (Kate Adach/CBC)

City of Calgary officials and pedestrian advocates are hoping 2017 will be a safer year for people walking along city roadways.

However, the number of pedestrian deaths rose to 10 in 2016, up from seven the year before.

The Step Forward 50-point pedestrian strategy was approved in the summer, and includes adding 80 more rapid flash beacons to alert drivers of crosswalks, building new pedestrian links around transit lines and reconfiguring traffic light timing to give pedestrians more time to cross.

"We're really just getting to make Calgary a place where you feel like it's safe and enjoyable and easy to walk around. All of those 50 actions will start to come together to deliver that vision," said Jonathan Chapman from the city's strategy and action plan. 

Kimberley Nelson from Vision Zero Calgary says she is glad the city has progressed with its pedestrian strategy but is frustrated with the collisions she hears about on an almost daily basis. (Kate Adach/CBC)

Pedestrian advocates say they are optimistic.

"I feel like things are starting to improve, I feel like people are starting to pay attention," said Kimberley Nelson from Vision Zero Calgary.

She said she's grateful the city is taking steps toward becoming more walkable even though collisions can happen almost daily. Though she admits she's frustrated pedestrian collisions still happen.

"When you've got a 3,000 lb vehicle colliding with an individual it doesn't matter what the age is, we already know who's going to win in that scenario."

Nelson said she will be keeping a close eye on the upgrades to intersections and crosswalks.

With files from Kate Adach