I am formerly from Montreal where we have two seasons: winter and construction. So while everyone is bothered about the potholes in this town that is not what irks me about driving in this city — trust me, the potholes are not that bad.
What scares me about driving in Prince Rupert is the lack of stop signs and jaywalkers.
Driving down our city’s main avenues terrifies me. Residents appear out of nowhere between the parked cars, ready to jaywalk the street, expecting drivers to break on command so they can cross. It’s like playing a game of whack-a-mole only the object is to not hit whatever will pop out at you at a moment’s notice.
The city can’t do much to discourage the jaywalkers from crossing the street other than encouraging the police to hand out tickets to pedestrians. But they can however, improve safety by adding more stop signs, specifically along Second and Third Ave.
A pedestrian crosswalk is not a mandatory stop at all times. Just the other day, while I was on foot crossing on Second Ave. from the mall to the movie theatre, a car zoomed past me. It is not entirely the driver’s fault — a giant parked truck was most likely blocking his view of me.
This is not an isolated incident at one intersection — I have noticed this both as a driver and pedestrian — and as a spectator observing others just to reassure myself that I wasn’t the problem in this equation.
Better safety measures need to be taken on the main boulevards to protect pedestrians. And if people complain that rush-minute will take a few seconds longer then so be it.
It won’t kill us to wait.
Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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