New crosswalk to aid disabled
By TYLER DAWSON
A new crosswalk will be built on Orr Drive in Red Deer to reduce the difficulty that disabled pedestrians have in accessing transit services.
On Monday, city council approved a request for a mid-block crosswalk at the Parkland CLASS building at 6332 Orr Drive.
City of Red Deer traffic engineer Micky Szeto said that the installation will be scheduled for some time in 2013.
A report submitted to council by the Engineering Services Department stated that a request was made in June for the crosswalk because some disabled pedestrians were having difficulty reaching the nearest legal intersection on their way to and from the bus stop across from the Parkland CLASS building.
The Transit Department estimates that about 35 people use that bus stop each day.
At the time the request was received, Engineering Services turned it down, because council policy does not provide an installation procedure for crosswalks at mid-block.
The stance of Engineering Services is that intersections are the safest place to cross a roadway.
In 2013, council will consider amendments to current policy that would allow mid-block crossings in special circumstances.
However, Coun. Paul Harris said that council unanimously passed the proposed resolution to build the crosswalk on Orr Drive. Council did not approve a second mid-block crosswalk request for Barrett Drive at the Bower Place Shopping Centre entrance.
Harris said council decided to look at possible mid-block crossings in the city and prioritize them.
Councillors felt that “this one in particular should be elevated to the top of the pile,” he said.
The projected cost to install a signed and marked crosswalk with curb extensions, and solar power side-mounted amber flashers, on Orr Drive is $67,000. Harris said that council had approved other crosswalks this year, but that the funds had not been used up.
The money for the Orr Drive crosswalk will come from unallocated traffic signal funding in the 2012 capital budget.