Crosswalk lights scheduled to be installed at Snow Centre this week

A white truck nears the crosswalk on Fall River Road near the Snow Centre. Lights are to be installed on Tuesday aimed at making crossing the road safer. (Healey photo)

FALL RIVER: A section of Fall River Road that has seen some close calls in the last week at its crosswalk will soon see Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) lights installed, similar to those at the Hwy 2/Coach Avenue (Schwarzwald subdivision) crosswalk.

On Sept. 9, a two-vehicle collision occurred at the crosswalk adjacent to the Gordon R. Snow Community Centre in Fall River.

This collision saw a first car with a dad and his two boys inside stop at the crosswalk to allow a young boy with his bicycle cross the road. While he was, a second car rear ended the first car hard.

The impact resulted in both vehicles being totalled.

The boy with the bicycle ran off as he was terrified of seeing the two cars crashed.

A few days later a young girl was about to cross the street when a car did not stop, leaving the girl shaken up from the near miss. The car that almost hit the young girl drove off as if nothing had happened.

RRFB crosswalk systems are the new standard for mid-block crosswalks. The RRFB crosswalk system is completely autonomous and shares the reliability of standard round crosswalk beacons.

Information posted by the wife of a driver hit as he was stopped at a cross walk was posted in a thread on the Waverley, Windsor Junction, Fall River, Wellington, community Facebook page. The responses with info were posted in a thread of a nearby resident, Gina Dolan, to the crosswalk.

She said she sees too many close calls on a daily and weekly basis at the crosswalk. Dolan reached out to Councillor Cathy Deagle Gammon to see what she could do.

Deagle Gammon replied to Dolan informing her of the process and that a light has been approved for that location.

Crews from Halifax Water were spotted at the area on Sept. 15, looking at the fire hydrant placement and if that would impact the placement of crosswalk lights.

Deagle Gammon was asked why it was taking so long for them to be installed if they were approved in the last budget.

“HRM only installs so many of these crosswalk lights per year, plus the assessment from our traffic engineers,” she told The Laker News.

“We then have to prioritize which ones are more required across the HRM.”

Deagle Gammon said among other issues of consideration include proximity to schools, playgrounds, recreation facilities, the number of 311 calls; accident history, such as near misses, etc.

She said while the crosswalk lights installation isn’t a result of the recent close calls, it is because of the amount of past close calls reported to HRM.

“The installation for the crosswalk lights at the Snow Centre is scheduled in the next week or two,” said Deagle Gammon. “We need approvals from Halifax Water due to the hydrant, and we need to replace the poles too.”

The lights are set to be installed on Tuesday, with work possibly extending into Wednesday, Deagle Gammon said.

There were calls for the school zone speed limit area to be expanded, and the speed reduced from 50 to 30 km/h in the school zone. It was thought that this was provincial, however MLA Brian Wong said the road is in HRM’s jurisdiction.

He was also pleased to see something being done when reached for comment on Sept. 16.

“ I understand the community’s concern over speed and safety on Fall River Road,” said Wong, the Advanced Education Minister. “I travel that road almost everyday and agree that something needs to be done to make the crosswalk at Gordon Snow Centre more visible.

“I’m very happy to see that HRM will be installing lights soon.”