Southwest Edmonton community calls for intersection changes after pedestrian killed
'Obviously it cost someone their life so it's not the right approach,' says community league president
There are growing calls for safety improvements at a southwest intersection after a pedestrian was killed crossing the street on Tuesday.
"I've had quite a lot of feedback from residents, particularly on our Facebook page, saying that is a very bad intersection," said Blackmud Creek Community League president Rob Powell, who noted calls for changes have "been constant" since the incident.
The 29-year-old woman was hit by a pickup truck while crossing James Mowatt Trail where it intersects with Desrochers Gate and Allard Boulevard.
Hearing 'a lot' of concerns
Ward 9 Coun. Tim Cartmell said he was hearing from concerned residents before Tuesday's death.
"We've had a lot of concerns expressed," Cartmell said, adding much of them focus on the safety of crossing James Mowatt in particular.
Monika Cupido said she drives through the intersection on an almost daily basis and is among those speaking out about changes.
"It's poorly lit and I have had to slow down quite a lot to make sure there's no one standing there," she wrote in an email to CBC. "I wouldn't want to be a pedestrian trying to cross there on a good day."
Police said the woman was in an unmarked crosswalk when she was hit.
Unmarked crosswalks typically don't have painted lines on the ground or signage.
It is legal for pedestrians to cross the street at unmarked crosswalks and drivers must yield the right-of-way.
"It's very busy, there's two lanes on each side plus a turning lane into Allard for people southbound, so five lanes where the pedestrian was hit," said Powell. "There's no lines on the crosswalks, there's no signage that I can recall and there's no lights."
Powell said he doesn't know why the intersection doesn't already have more safety features.
"I'm not 100 per cent sure but it may have something to do with the fact that it's a new area," he said. "In a case like this where there's that many lanes it should be put in a lot sooner.
"Obviously it cost someone their life so it's not the right approach. There should have been at least a crosswalk there with painted lines and a button for people to push to stop cars."
Cartmell said that southwest part of the city has many roadway issues due to rapid growth.
"There's no question that the road system in southwest Edmonton is extremely challenged and over capacity and these things are coming at us very quickly," he said. "It's changing so quickly that it's difficult to say whether anything should have been done earlier than this or not."
Police are still investigating Tuesday's incident, and so far details of what happened have not been made clear. EPS is asking witnesses to come forward.
- In a previous version of this story, we attributed a quote from Blackmud Creek Community League President Rob Powell to city councillor Tim Cartmell. The attribution has now been corrected.Dec 14, 2017 1:40 PM MT