Friday April 18, 2014

Elephant's feet crossings a boon for cyclists

Road markings a first for Kamloops
City of Kamloops

Some examples of elephant's feet crossings.

Under the snow along the refurbished Tranquille Road, there are some markings that are new to Kamloops.

The strange lines and squares are found at a couple of intersections so far, but more will be painted in spring, said City transportation planner Erin Felker.

And the name for these crosswalks is a mystery: elephant’s feet crossings.

Felker said Monday the name is a transportation term. What the markings mean is that cyclists can cross — legally — without dismounting from their wheels in crosswalks alongside pedestrians.

Other communities in B.C. have the crosswalks, but these are a first for Kamloops, she said.

Tranquille and Highland Road were chosen as the first locations for elephant’s feet crossings because they have multi-use paths where cyclists and pedestrians share space.

The ‘feet’ are actually squares of white paint outside the straight lines that mark the crosswalk.

“It’s more cyclist friendly” and makes cycling more attractive, said Felker. Cyclists still have to dismount and walk across other “regular” intersections.

The crossings are still a reminder that motorists need to yield to pedestrians and cyclists, while cyclists need to give way to pedestrians.

Felker said if the response is good, there could be more elephant’s feet intersections showing up around town.

The current markings are already on the road on Tranquille at Royal Avenue, Don Street and across the Riverdale trailer court access.

New ones are slated for Highland Road at Valleyview Drive and across the road to Valleyview arena.

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