Concerned pedestrians say busy Charlottetown intersection not safe
‘That particular spot, it sort of stands out because the traffic flows pretty quickly there’
People living and working in the area of Allen Street and Walthen Drive in Charlottetown say the intersection is not safe for pedestrians — and they wrote a letter to city council this week with their concerns.
Traffic on Allen Street has increased in recent years, with more businesses and residents moving into the area. Charlottetown officials say it's now the third-busiest street in town.
"If you're with a child or with an animal or something, you really have to make sure that things are slowing down before you even consider starting your crossing," said Robert Pendergast, who lives nearby.
"You basically have to jog across if you want to make sure you're safe."
Pendergast is one of more than 30 residents who signed the letter, along with three business owners and the P.E.I. Council of People with Disabilities.
Their concerns include the lack of a sidewalk on the north side of Allen Street, and more lighting so drivers can better see pedestrians at the crosswalk.
This street is evolving. It's moving away from light industrial into more of a people's place. And people want to feel safe.- Charlottetown Coun. Mitch Tweel
"That particular spot, it sort of stands out because the traffic flows pretty quickly there," said Pendergast, who has lived in the neighbourhood for four years, and walks and cycles frequently.
Coun. Mitch Tweel understands residents' concerns, and said he'll be recommending that public works do a complete review of all safety issues in the area in collaboration with the Charlottetown police.
"This street is evolving. It's moving away from light industrial into more of a people's place. And people want to feel safe and they want their community to be more walkable," said Tweel.
He said vehicle traffic in this part of Allen Street has "intensified 10-fold."
The group of citizens who sent the letter has some good recommendations, said Tweel, including extending the sidewalk on the north side, and adding a pedestrian-controlled overhead light for the crosswalk.
"I'd like to incorporate those recommendations in an overall plan for this particular intersection," said Tweel.
Tweel said he's also going to ask for a traffic study, and that once work is complete, he'll consult again with businesses and residents near the intersection.
Encouraging more people to walk instead of drive
Pendergast also thinks a change in mindset could be in order.
"The more we encourage people to have a little bit of an active pedestrian lifestyle, the more people will take note," he said.
"Especially some people who are always behind the wheel. If they were encouraged once in a while to take a walk, I think they'll start to feel it a bit."
Pendergast suggested the city could start an initiative one month of the year to promote walking.
"It'd be nice to see some of the local politicians getting out and walking, and I'd be happy to walk with them," he said.
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With files from Jessica Doria-Brown