Mid-block Pandora crosswalk gets thumbs down from Victoria staff

Our Place patrons virtually only ones crossing in unsafe stretch

Victoria staff are recommending against creating a mid-block crosswalk on Pandora Avenue between Quadra and Vancouver streets.

Council had asked staff to look into the pedestrian infrastructure as a way to give clients of Our Place Society a safe way to cross the street without walking to the corner.

A review of the issue examined speed limit, pedestrian activity, traffic volume and other factors.

“Based on the sufficient crossing gaps and low pedestrian volume, staff determined a mid-block marked crosswalk is not warranted at this time,” said city transportation manager Brad Dellebuur.

His findings were due to be discussed at city council’s environment and infrastructure committee meeting Thursday.

Committee chair, Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe, discussed the matter at the Pandora Community Meeting, along with people who work and live on or near that block.

“They did admit that people are jamming on their brakes when people are crossing (mid-block),” she said.

A crosswalk, however, wasn’t the preferred solution.

Some people at the meeting had concerns that people might not always use a crosswalk even if one were built.

“We always imagine crosswalks make things safer, but it is not the experience all the time,” Thornton-Joe said.

People are more likely to pay attention to traffic when there is no crosswalk, and more likely to step off the curb without looking when there is a crosswalk, she added.

rholmen@vicnews.com