Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) 106 Street Crosswalk Assessment
ISL was retained by NAIT to evaluate the safety of a crosswalk located on campus in front of the newly opened Centre for Applied Technology across 106 Street from its main campus.
Prioritizing, NOT Just Accommodating Pedestrians
While using the Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide from the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) can provide safer crossings, transportation professionals have an ethical responsibility to prevent serious injury or death. ISL’s analysis also included Safe System principles and the Edmonton Complete Streets Guidelines to provide a solution that prioritized pedestrians, rather than merely accommodating pedestrians.
An Ethics Based Approach
Safe System is an ethics based approach. Under Safe System, death and/or serious injury are not natural consequences of roadway systems – they are the result of people’s mistakes and vulnerability. The approach therefore aims to eliminate serious injury and death as a result of these mistakes. When one part of the system fails, Safe System strengthens other parts such that no human will be harmed. Using these principles, ISL recommended physical measures to maintain speeds below 30 km/h at the crosswalk. At these speeds evidence shows death and/or injury are far less likely if a pedestrian or a driver makes a mistake that causes a crash.
Complete Streets Guidelines
To justify reassigning priority from through movement of the vehicles to the pedestrians crossing the roadway, principles of the Complete Streets Guidelines were used. Complete Streets principles focus on the land use context of the area and the relationship of buildings to the street. This further aids in selecting crossing facilities which prioritize the needs of the vulnerable users of the roadway.
Reducing the Risk
Accommodating pedestrians leaves room for potential life-threatening situations. Prioritizing for pedestrians by using Safe System and the Complete Streets Guidelines greatly reduces harm to humans.