City eyeing pedestrian safety improvements on Ness Avenue: St. James councillor

The city councillor for St. James is looking into possible improvements to a busy intersection in his area that saw two teens rushed to hospital after being struck by a car Wednesday morning.

Coun. Scott Gillingham told 680 CJOB there have been four vehicle-pedestrian incidents at Ness Avenue and Woodlawn Street, right across from the St. James Civic Centre, over the past 20 years.

None of those crashes, including Wednesday’s incident, were fatal.

Gillingham said a report on a five-year road safety plan will come to council next year, hopefully with potential improvements that could prevent these types of incidents.

“There’s been a lot of talk at council about speed limits across the city of Winnipeg,” he said.

“One of the key pillars, or planks in that report will be specific to pedestrian safety as well, across the city of Winnipeg. There have just been too many pedestrian incidents.”

Gillingham said the city is trying out lights that flash faster and are lower down – more at a driver’s eye-level rather than overhead – at a couple of intersections to see if they make a difference.

The Ness and Woodlawn crosswalk is among those being considered.

“We’re using rapid-flashing beacons, and we’re installing them lower down… for motorists and pedestrians as well,” he said.

“The traffic engineers are taking a look to see if this crosswalk could have those flashing beacons at eye level as well.”

In the aftermath of Wednesday’s incident, at least one area elementary school has moved students to a different bus route that will pick them up on a lower-traffic street.

The two teens who were hit remain in hospital in stable condition.

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