City employees risk own lives taking short cut

Traffic awareness, municipal laws, and personal safety are missing for City employees who work in City Hall building on First and Victoria.

Working downtown, I often walk for business reasons or just to get some sun and air, and use the crosswalks across Lansdowne and Victoria Streets on First Avenue. Most drivers are very cautious of pedestrians, but I've seen the occasional vehicle travel a red light or not wait at a crosswalk. I remember the "Stop, look, cross" rules of my youth - I'm the best person to take my own well-being in hand.

Unfortunately, if I happen to be walking in the area early in the morning, at lunch, or end-of-day, I see a number of people tempting fate by running the gauntlet of traffic on Lansdowne and Victoria at 1st Avenue. They jaywalk across these streets between the parking lot south of the railroad tracks and the front door of City Hall and associated buildings, walking casually as though invisible crossing guards are protecting them, while traffic has to unpredictably slow down or stop abruptly.

I realize that to do it safely would require these people to use four (4) crosswalks (First, Victoria, Lansdowne, Lorne Street); clearly the minutes of time saved are worth the risk of being hit by fast moving vehicles of all sizes. Women in high heels trotting across the pavement, men laden with briefcases and coffees having conversations while courting death, and everything in between. And it's always worse in the winter when the snow is blowing and roads are icy (for both drivers and pedestrians).

This observation is not as much that these people are breaking provincial and municipal traffic and bylaws, which they are, but how have these seemingly intelligent and professional individuals forgotten the elementary school lessons parents, teachers, and safety officers taught them?

I do fear that one day soon, a City employee will be killed by an otherwise careful driver, leading to the emotional destruction of many, demand for more (and unnecessary) traffic control in a very busy intersection, and another sad, but quickly forgotten, roadside memorial under a tree in the road island maintained by City Parks and Recreation.

If anyone from the City reads this, especially someone of authority and responsibility, there is only one way to stop this... well, by stopping this. Laws for personal safety on the road are in place for a reason (read again: personal safety), and who best to remind the community of them than those in the employ of the community to enforce them.



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