Between Frank Robinson & Eardley
Petition for new crosswalk on Principale
A petition is being circulated to provide Principale with another pedestrian crossing, between Frank Robinson and Eardley. Those launching the move point out that “the current street arrangement is not well adapted to pedestrians”.
City Councillor Audrey Bureau cautions that a pedestrian crossing will not be built quickly. She believes the deadlines recommended by the petitioners are much too brief. “I told the people with the petition that their deadline is unrealistic,” said Ms Bureau. She encourages residents to sign the petition, and also to “make a request to this effect to 311”. Ms Bureau is asking nearby merchants to send her a letter of support for a new walkway. The city will do its analysis this summer or fall; the results will be announced in the winter of 2020, noted the councillor.
The distance between crossings at Frank Robinson and Eardley Road is 270 metres, with plenty of shops and bus-stops between the intersections, leading many people on foot to ignore the signs and jaywalk across Principale.
The owner of Bistro Mexicana 129 notes that the lack of an intersection is dangerous: “It’s not safe; there must be a crossing,” The owner of Marché Laflamme agrees. “I have a lot of shoppers coming on foot and they have to cross the street,” he told the Bulletin. “My clients have been asking for this for years but nothing’s been done.” Residents of the neighbourhood choose to live there for the pedestrian lifestyle.
Police often stop pedestrians who jaywalk, as much to protect as to penalize them. Nearby shopkeepers report that motorists often go faster than the 40 km/h speed limit.
The petition reads that the Aylmer Residents’ Association sees dangers here for all users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorists). Residents want interim measures in place, while the City analyzes “other traffic calming measures for the short and long term”. Petitioners ask that this analysis be completed in early summer, 2019.
The petition, with over 200 signatures so far, was launched by resident Bianca Baldo with the Association. “When I started talking with people in the neighbourhood, everyone had a story of almost being hit,” she says. Ms Baldo believes a pedestrian crossing would work, but that the City needs a short-term solution since installing a crossing is a long process.
The petition is available on the change.org website under the “Pedestrian Crosswalk/Main Crosswalk (Gatineau)” tab. (Transl: FR)