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What’s it take to make a change?
This has been a bad year for pedestrians in the Tri-Cities. There have been countless news stories of close calls and unfortunate tragedies.
To that point, I genuinely ask, what does it actually take for the average resident to influence traffic policy? What does it take for the average resident to persuade a municipality to install a crosswalk, stoplight or stop sign?
It’s not an easy thing to do. In my experience, it’s a process filled with roadblocks and frustration, to say the least.
I live one side of a very dangerous pedestrian intersection on St Johns Street in Port Moody. In less than two years, I’ve seen many, many close calls and one pedestrian accident. Although I have not witnessed them myself, my neighbours tell me of numerous fatal collisions that have happened in the vicinity over the years.
I decided to try to take some action and do the right thing but it didn’t work. An email didn’t cut it. Actually, several communications over months didn’t cut it — or warrant any response.
After a pedestrian was hit, I escalated my concern and took it to the next level, directly to the city manager, council and department manager. To my absolute surprise, the city didn’t seem to care or take my legitimate feedback with any sincerity or action.
You wouldn’t think it should be this hard. Perhaps the city is concerned about acknowledging liability? Maybe officials are afraid to make a bold decision, even if it is the right thing? I hope not.
I ask readers, what does it really take to effect change in your community, particularly when it comes to public safety concerns? My experience has been discouraging and upsetting. People’s lives are at stake.
Chris Carter, Port Moody