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Downtown Victoria pedestrian safety revisited after bus crash

The intersection at Humboldt and Douglas streets. - Black Press photo
The intersection at Humboldt and Douglas streets.
— image credit: Black Press photo

The downtown Victoria intersection where a 27-year-old pedestrian was killed is unsafe for buses, according to B.C. Transit’s CEO.

The fatality occurred Monday, when a tour bus was turning left from Humboldt onto Douglas Street around 10 a.m.

Yuka Imaizumi was crossing the street legally at the time and was hit by the bus, according to witnesses.

“We deemed that as not a particularly safe turn,” said B.C. Transit CEO Manuel Achadinha. “It’s not an intersection we use in our routing.”

While commercial trucks are subject to multiple street-use restrictions, tour buses are able to roam freely under city bylaws. The only exception in downtown Victoria is Swift Street near Chinatown.

City council downtown liaison Coun. Lisa Helps said the overarching focus should be on creating pedestrian-friendly spaces rather than restricting tour buses.

“The proactive approach is that pedestrians are more vulnerable than vehicles,” she said, adding she would like to see tour bus restrictions on two-lane roadways like Government Street.

A greater number of North American cities are introducing pedestrian scrambles, Helps said, where drivers are stopped in all four directions to allow pedestrians to cross to any corner of an intersection.

“That’s a smart, simple and easy way to remedy the problem,” she said, particularly at a five-corner intersection like Douglas and Humboldt.

Helps said she would like to see the downtown core speed limit restricted to 30 km/h as well.

“They’re two really easy, cheap solutions and preventative measures that we could implement immediately.”

On Aug. 1, a tour bus allegedly clipped a horse on Fisgard Street, sending a carriage passenger on an unbridled ride through downtown.

 

 

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