Downtown Cores "Hotspots" For Pedestrian-Vehicle Crashes: Report

Posted on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 19:46 PM

A new report is out showing our city still has a ways to go to become pedestrian-friendly. 

The report from the City, Lakehead University, and the Health Unit says right now, 55 percent of us never walk to school or work. 

Joanna Carastathis with the Health Unit says they found many of the people they surveyed walked for recreation, and felt they had good access to green spaces like parks, but wanted to see traffic slowed down in their neighbourhoods.

Better sidewalk networks were another priority, along with making sure those sidewalks are cleared of snow in the winter. 

The document also found that there are a number of hotspots in the city where pedestrians were involved in car crashes. 

It looks at collisions between vehicles and people on foot that happened between 2004 and 2013, analyzing a total of 634 collisions.

Eight of those crashes resulted in a fatal injury. 

Lakehead University's Lindsay Galway explains they found about 45% of the collisions occurred in McKellar Ward. 

"This is where our two downtown cores are located," Galway notes, "We also found that 70% of collisions occurred at intersections, and more than half occurred within 40 metres of schools." 

The study recommends lowering speed limits in residential neighbourhoods and the downtown cores. 

Improper driving was the cause of around 40% of crashes involving a pedestrian. 

It also found that the rate of collisions per year held steady over the ten-year period researchers studied. (File Photo)