The only four-to-three vote at the Oct. 9 council meeting came over the question of whether or not to move forward with a crosswalk across the Island Highway at West Shore Parks and Recreation.
In the end those in favour of the crosswalk won, but not without some debate.
Councillors Rob Martin, Shari Lukens and Teresa Harvey voted against the crossing. Martin said the basis of the disagreement is whether one considers that stretch of road a thoroughfare or as a city street.
The crosswalk will add a delay to already heavy traffic during peak times of the day. On the other had, the recreation complex is a well used facility and there isn’t a crosswalk with 250 metres of it, meaning some user cross the street illegally and dangerously.
“This is the only way that we can get in and out of Colwood,” Martin told the Gazette. “It’s our main thoroughfare. So there’s this fundamental discussion about what is (the road).”
Lukens suggested the money for a crosswalk should be put towards an overpass, but other councillors objected saying the likelihood of an overpass ever being built is unlikely, and meanwhile people will jaywalk.
Once the crosswalk is installed pedestrians will have seven seconds of the “walk” symbol, followed by 10 seconds of “don’t walk”. The planned crossing will include a countdown timer, and be divided into two sections working independently, to minimize disruption to traffic.
It’s predicted vehicles turning left onto the highway off of Wale Road may be impacted, but during the peak evening and morning hours the average added delay to drivers travelling with the traffic is estimated to be anywhere from 3.2 to 6.2 seconds.
Martin said the city is still looking into using gas tax funds to pay for the crosswalk.