FALL RIVER: The need for a crosswalk at Coach Avenue and Highway 2 in Fall River is back in the spotlight following a pedestrian-vehicle collision there last week.
Shortly after 6 p.m. on May 9, a man and his service dog were hit as they crossed the road by a vehicle coming from Coach Avenue. The man suffered minor injuries, while the dog was not hurt. The driver was given a warning for failure to yield entering a highway.
Getting a crosswalk in that location is something Councillor Steve Streatch has had a difficult time convincing HRM Traffic Authority was needed.
“The accident only highlights the importance of this issue,” said Streatch. “We have a number of schools on one side of the highway and significant population and homes on the other side.”
Having a crosswalk would also connect users in a safe manner with the Shubie Canal’s Lock system and a trail that connects to Lockview Road.
Streatch said HRM Traffic Authority staff were sent out in late August 2017 to do traffic and pedestrian counts, where the decision lies. At that time, the counts failed to meet the criteria required for a crosswalk.
When he learned this, Streatch met with senior staff and asked them to re-consider and do another count—at a different time.
“It seemed to me doing it when the children were not in school and in the middle of vacation time was not helping our cause,” he said. “They agreed to do that.”
Since then, a young boy—Jack Lerner, who lives in Schwarzwald Subdivision and attends Holland Road School—comprised a petition and collected hundreds of names, which he presented to Streatch. It was then passed on to staff.
In an interview with The Laker on May 11, Streatch informed that traffic personnel will be in the area during sunny weather between May 14-18 to do the new counts. In other words, if you have been itching to get out walking or the kids wanted to walk/cycle to school instead of getting a drive, then this week may be the time to do that especially if you live along Highway 2, Fletcher Drive, or Schwarzwald.
“It is vital that if we as a community, and me as a councillor, want to see this crosswalk happen we have to do whatever we can to influence those numbers,” said Streatch.
The last anyone wants to see is a potential injury or worse to anyone, especially the students who cross Highway 2 at Coach Avenue.
Streatch said he will continue to do whatever he can to influence a positive decision on behalf of the traffic authority. He’s hopeful the counts will meet the proper criteria.
“Next week will be a good week for residents to get out and go for a walk in Fall River,” said Streatch with a smile.