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Vancouver council considering pedestrian priority at more crosswalks


Changes could be coming to pedestrian infrastructure in Vancouver, with walkers getting priority at more intersections.

A motion is going to city council this week, asking staff to expand the number of intersections where pedestrians get the go-ahead before drivers. In other words, the walk signal at a crosswalk would allow pedestrians to have a few-second head start before the light turns green for drivers.

"It allows (pedestrians) to establish themselves in that crossing so they have greater visibility," Coun. Lisa Dominato told CTV News.

Dominato said council has heard from frustrated locals who say they don't feel safe at some crossings.

"What we want to do as we're encouraging people to walk, to cycle, to roll to work and get out of vehicles, we want to make sure they're feeling safe crossing our streets, particularly around schools and parks," she said.

Dominato said she's proposing using funding that's already allocated to infrastructure upgrades.

"We have a four-year capital plan in place. We've got $13.4 million allocated towards signals, other pedestrian safety measures," Dominato said. "What we're looking to do is reallocate funds within that capital plan and increase and accelerate the number of signals we can do, rapid flashing beacons, and other measures that help keep pedestrians safe."

Vancouver has a "vision zero" commitment, which aims to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries. Currently, about eight pedestrians die each year in the city.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Penny Daflos Top Stories

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