The era of removing crosswalks is over…

New crosswalks at Bowker & Hampshire
New crosswalks at Bowker & Hampshire

…and not soon enough. For the past several decades crosswalks have been scraped up under the misguided assumption that it causes “pedestrians to act recklessly“. Even the US DOT Federal Highway Administration has changed its tune:

Pedestrians are legitimate users of the transportation system, and they should, therefore, be able to use this system safely and without unreasonable delay.

This change in thinking is hitting close to home, with the addition of two new crosswalks with a curb cut for wheelchairs at Bowker and Hampshire. This is immediately to the east of the dangerous Cadboro Bay Rd and Bowker Ave intersection that may get a traffic circle.

Will we get any more of this in 2009? I haven’t had a chance to ask David Marshall, head of Oak Bay Engineering yet and the 2008 Municipal Report (PDF), which just came out, makes no mention of any crossswalk or sidewalk works in 2009. Guess we will have to enjoy at least this victory.