Petition to Lower Speed Limit on Spring Garden

We believe that pedestrians should be able to safely walk the streets of Halifax. However, there were 208 pedestrian accidents last year (2015) and more than one-half dozen of these occurred on Spring Garden Road. As a business owner on this Road, I’m launching a petition to reduce the speed to 30km per hour, ensuring a safer street for everyone.

Metro News recently reported on the high number of pedestrian accidents which occur in crosswalks. However, while some streets have increased lighting, the number of pedestrian accidents continue to increase. Unfortunately, calls for change have been going on since 2013, but pedestrians are still being injured or losing their lives on Spring Garden Road and other roads.

No Consensus for Addressing the Problem

There are some indications that the number of accidents involving pedestrians in Halifax are slowing according to a report in The Chronicle Herald. However, there are still disturbing trends and pedestrians are at great risk on Halifax roadways. Even with the Crosswalk Safety Advisory Committee in Halifax, there has been no consensus regarding how best to address the concerns of both residents and law enforcement.

Keep in mind, the statutes are clear; pedestrians generally have the right of way within crosswalks. While the pedestrian does have an obligation to exercise care, vehicle operators must also exercise care and pay attention.

Creating a Better Model for Safety

There have been various attempts to reduce the number of pedestrians struck at intersections. Some of the more innovative have included using pedestrian bumps and crosswalk lights such as those in use near Calgary and Vancouver. However, we may need to look to our neighbours in the United States for even more options for decreasing pedestrian-related injuries and deaths due to a car collision.

“A small difference in speed can mean the difference between life and death”

New York streets are a hub of automobile & pedestrian traffic. Mayor Bill deBlasio recently enacted several changes in various parts of New York including a “slow zone”. In effect, this was a dramatic decrease in the speed limit in areas where there were significant number of pedestrian/auto accidents. As a result of many of these changes, in 2014, pedestrian accidents were at the lowest levels in history.

We all understand the slower a vehicle is traveling, the easier it is for them to stop, but the facts back this up. In fact, a study conducted by the New York firm, Transportation Alternatives showed that at 48 km, a car has a 20% chance of killing a pedestrian, but at 32 km, that drops to 2% (after you convert American miles per hour to Canadian kilometers per hour). This is an important statistic that we should heed.

Applied on Spring Garden

There is clear evidence that shows that higher speeds result in greater fatalities. Reducing the speed limit, which has already proven to be successful in NYC, is the most logical way to prevent pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

Halifax City Council has already approved a plan to improve and upgrade Spring Garden road. Changing the speed limit on Spring Garden from 50km to 30km will save lives and help reduce injuries. It will provide pedestrians with the peace of mind knowing our elected and appointed officials care enough to pay attention to their concerns.

This must be considered by the legislature and by the Crosswalk Safety Advisory Committee as a viable method of reducing these incidents.

Join our petition now; the injury you prevent or the life you save could be yours or that of a loved one. Learn more about the data and evidence by visiting our website & join us in making Halifax a safer place for everyone.

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