Crosswalk talk

Colin MacLean
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Residents who want better pedestrian safety on Thorburn Road attend council meeting

St. John’s Coun. Debbie Hanlon presented a petition to council Tuesday for residents who want more pedestrian safety on Thorburn Road. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

People living near the busy road where one of MUN’s star athletes was killed late last month continued Tuesday night to press their case for a crosswalk in their neighbourhood.

About 20 residents of Wigmore Court, off Thorburn Road across from Tim Hortons, attended the regular St. John’s city council meeting.

Their ward councillor, Debbie Hanlon, had invited them to come to be reassured council was taking their request seriously.

Mayor Dennis O’Keefe addressed the crowd first thing Tuesday night.

O’Keefe told them council is waiting on the official RNC report on the collision before it makes any decisions.

“Once that report is received, any alterations that are needed to ensure more safety in that area — decisions will be made very quickly by this council in that regard. And I want to assure them of that,” said O’Keefe.

Hanlon presented a petition to council, given to her by the residents, which demanded that a crosswalk with lights be installed on Thorburn Road in the area between the Tim Hortons and the nearby North Atlantic Orange Store.

Hanlon said she wasn’t sure how many signatures were on the petition, but said it was at least several pages worth of names of residents.

June Sharpe is one of the women spearheading the effort to get the crosswalk installed.

She said she was happy with what she heard Tuesday night.

“It’s pretty good. I think they’re going to do something about it. For sure,” she said after Hanlon presented their petition.

Sharpe and several supporters have held protests along Thorburn Road to reinforce their cause.

She expressed surprise Tuesday that others feel the same way she does about the road.

“I’ll be honest with you, I was going to do this myself,” she said.

“But a couple of the girls said, ‘Come on, we’ll do it,’” and it grew from there, she added.

The lobby for a crosswalk along this busy section of road was galvanized by the death of 21-year-old Erin Bursey.

The St. John’s resident was a promising student, athlete and captain of Memorial University’s women’s volleyball team.

Bursey was hit by a minivan while crossing Thorburn Road and succumbed to her injuries a few days later.

Residents who live near where the young woman died say their neighborhood has been developing rapidly and signage and measures are not enough to control the rise of pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the area.

Sharpe vowed to have something done to improve safety in the area — come hell or high water.

“This is very pressing, and if they don’t do anything about it we’ll be out again with our signs. Something has to be done about it,” she said.

 

cmaclean@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelegramMacLean

 

Organizations: Tim Hortons, North Atlantic Orange Store

Geographic location: Thorburn Road, MUN

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Recent comments

  • Keanman
    July 11, 2012 - 12:42

    I understand the urge to make things better when a tragedy happens like this. However, there are already 2 cross walks in the immediate area. One about a one minute walk from where this young woman was struck (in front of the North Atlantic) and one about 3 minutes walk in the opposite direction (in front of Tim Hortons). People just need to pay more attention. Drivers and pedestrians alike.

    • Taylor
      July 11, 2012 - 15:06

      I agree. I see the protesters every evening as I drive home home every day, and am stopped by the many lights already in place. If people will not walk to the already provided places, then an argument can be made to put them in every ten feet. The answer is to raise the awareness of both pedestrians and drivers on the proper use of cross-walks. Adding yet another stop to the already frequent stops will only add to the congestion and people's frustration.

    • Diana
      July 13, 2012 - 07:18

      We don't need another crosswalk there!!!! I live 5 minute walk from that location and there are already 2 (well 4 if you count all in the vicinity) crosswalks about a 1-2 minute walk in both directions from where that women was hit. People just got to stop being so dame lazy and use them. Putting another cross walk there is not going to change anything for those who are to lazy to adjust there path an extra 1-2 minutes to use one that is already there. I'm a walker (I use those crosswalks) and a driver and every day I see multiple people run/walk across the road, in the middle of rush hour traffic, just to get to the store on the other side. It is just stupidity and laziness. There really is no other factor since there are already 2 very close crosswalks there. I do agree that something needs to be done about speed of drivers on that road however. Way too many people are flying on that road going well over 60-80Klm/hour. It is getting worse recently now that people are using Kelsey drive as a short cut through the city. Even speeds on Kelsey drive are getting ridiculous.

  • AR
    July 11, 2012 - 09:23

    They can put crosswalks here, there and everywhere, but pedestrians must remember that, in NL, you're taking your life in your hands if you don't look to your left and your right before crossing and ensuring that any approaching vehicle is coming to a stop. It's beyond me, how people can be so stupid as to text on their cellphones, wear headphones, or gab to their friends while using a crosswalk, completely oblivious to any oncoming traffic.

  • Dee
    July 11, 2012 - 09:17

    First off all these petitions you hand in to the council are useless we have petitioned our road for 10 years now in the West end of St John,s we have met the amount of signatures needed for the traffic calming and still nothing done.I guess when one of these joggers gets killed who is of importance then our petition may be looked at.We have no sidewalks or crosswalks so we have no other choice but to jay walk .We have to dodge traffic in a 30km zone when traffic hits 50-70km so people don,t expect to much from St John,s city council.

  • well
    July 11, 2012 - 07:58

    i have to agree with these people about the crossing there , it would be a waste of money ,there are 2 crosswaks there now and the fact is peole are too lazy to walk to them . Ill admit i myself have ran across the street there toTims rather then walk to the corner. ts like the fence that runs along PPD millions of dollars spent because a student was hit and killed there. these students are surposed ot be adults and know better . So at the universtiy millions have been spent on fences, skywalks and lets not forget the underground that is never used at all and they still hop the fences and run out in traffic so they wont be late for a class

  • Saltwater Cowboy
    July 11, 2012 - 07:39

    This is very sad. However i am not surprised that tis happened at all. Pedestrians in this a province are constantly J-walking in front of vehicles in this city. And most of us are guilty of doing it at one time or another. Especially down town and arounf MUN. Even if a proper crosswalk is close. When i first moved to Edmonton i was always told by people not to do this because the police are always ticketing people for J walking. I must have witness 100 tickets issued to people by the Regional Police. When driving in this city you always have to be extra cautious of people just running across the road. J walking tickets are much better for people then getting slammed into by a car.

  • Saltwater Cowboy
    July 11, 2012 - 07:35

    This is very sad. However i am not surprised that tis happened at all. Pedestrians in this a province are constantly J-walking in front of vehicles in this city. And most of us are guilty of doing it at one time or another. Especially down town and arounf MUN. Even if a proper crosswalk is close. When i first moved to Edmonton i was always told by people not to do this because the police are always ticketing people for J walking. I must have witness 100 tickets issued to people by the Regional Police. When driving in this city you always have to be extra cautious of people just running across the road. J walking tickets are much better for people then getting slammed into by a car.

  • Gord
    July 11, 2012 - 07:30

    No offense, but this accident would not have been avoided if another crosswalk were in the area. There already are several that Erin Bursey.chose NOT to use and instead, like many adults, jaywalked across a busy road frequented by speeding drivers. Don't get me wrong, Speeding drivers also need to be reigned in on Thorburn Road, but pedestrians need to be safe and use a crosswalk. Building another crosswalk is a waste of taxpayers money, especially for a city that is already cash strapped. More police enforcement/photo radar could solve the speeding. Pedestrians have to stop jaywalking.

  • Frank
    July 11, 2012 - 07:23

    Move the Tims to the other side of the road, that should stop 90% of the jaywalking.

  • carol ann rogers
    July 11, 2012 - 07:20

    I just got off the bus walked to the crosswalk pressed the button for the walk sign got to th emiddle of the road and had to stop and let four cars pass in front of me while I stood in the middle of the cross walk looking at a blinking walk sign. What is the point of a crosswalk and walk light if drivers cut infront of you and speed past??

  • Joe
    July 11, 2012 - 07:17

    What a crock, there is a cross walk at the intersection maybe 100 ft from where they are requesting it. too lazy to walk the extra distance is all that is. I call BS. pay attention to the road and stop texting when you jay walks would ya....saves lives...

  • Marlene Harris
    July 11, 2012 - 07:05

    I think it is stupid and a crosswalk going in that particular place is going to cause more harm than good. Come on people ...when you walk out of wigmore there is a crosswalk to either side of you just a short ways away.Both on lights. Putting a crosswalk where you are asking in my opinion probably will show more fatalities. When those both sets of lights turn green and traffic is flying both ways and you got someone going to walk across because there is a walk then see what happens. But go ahead and put it there and when the obvious do happen we will all see ya center lane again protesting to get it gone. Poor drivers will be slammed and ridiculed once again because some pedestrian walked in front of a car.

  • teamplayer
    July 11, 2012 - 06:58

    As tragic as Erin's death was, people should not use it as a means to get a crosswalk put accross from Tims. There are already TWO crosswalks in that immediate area, one at the lights right by Tim's, and another with its own light just before the North Atlantic. People need to be willing to walk 500 feet in one direction or the other.