- Published on Friday, 29 June 2012 13:33
- Written by Michael James | © DrumhellerMail.com
The crosswalk that spans Highway 9 between the Tim Hortons and Greentree neighbourhood has been a source of concern recently for students attending Greentree School.
A student, who did not wish to be named, learned first hand how perilous the journey to and from school can be. Recently, the student was hit by a vehicle while riding across the crosswalk, luckily not sustaining serious injuries, and was almost hit again while walking across a week ago.
The Drumheller RCMP have not been made aware of other incidents, but are increasing enforcement in the area.
“It is a notoriously bad spot. With the quantity of pedestrian and vehicle traffic going back and forth there. It’s definitely a concern,” said Constable Rachel Pergunas. “We’re going to be looking at increasing enforcement there. Especially with the speeds people are doing going in and out of town.”
The crosswalk in question is the first (or last) on Highway 9 south. Many students use the crosswalk to go to and from school everyday.
Alberta Transportation is looking into the problem as well. Craig Siewert of the Hanna office, had received complaints and is investigating upgrading the amber pedestrian crossing to something akin to the lights in front of the new St. Anthony’s School.
“In front of St. Anthony’s School you’ve got the activated stop lights, but not at this crosswalk, even though there is a school nearby,” said Siewert. “We’re looking into doing a warrant analysis on the site.”
The analysis is used by Alberta Transportation to help determine what level of crosswalk is needed at a given site. The different crosswalks range from simple lines over the road to the activated stop lights.
“We do a pedestrian count, which is age stratified, so children are weighted more, we do a traffic count, and we look at the size of the community,” explained Siewert. “The smaller the community, the easier it is in to meet the warrants. Drumheller is the under 10,000 category, so it will make it easier.”
Residents can also let their opinions be known as well, which will also help determine the final outcome.
“The analysis is hard numbers, so comments don’t affect that, but they do matter in the decision process,” said Siewert. “For example, if we get a lot of anecdotal evidence, we may bump a crosswalk up.”
Residents can call the Alberta Transportation Operational Manager in Hanna at 403-854-5550.
For now, motorists are asked to be cognisant of their speed and surroundings, lest our children be put in further danger.