Today I was door knocking in Beddington Heights. Many people I met spoke of the horrible collision nearby that saw a 16 year-old boy struck twice by an SUV. Other residents spoke of traffic speeding along Beddington Boulevard, despite police presence. They wonder where the crosswalks are, and when pedestrian conditions will improve.
Tomorrow, Monday May 2nd, City Council can make a difference. They will review a proposed Pedestrian Strategy, intended to make streets safer for pedestrians and drivers alike. The strategy includes 50 actions, from enhanced lighting to building midblock crossings to improving snow-clearing. In short, a number of common sense ideas.
The current Ward 4 councilor says he won’t support it. This is no surprise. He has already isolated himself as the only councilor to reject the strategy when it came through committee:
He says he can’t support the cost of staffing it with 10 people, estimated around $1 Million. This is despite the fact that it would cost less than comparable programs in other cities. Despite the fact that pedestrian-related collisions cost us approximately $120 Million a year. Despite the fact that he’s already shown his disrespect to taxpayers when he attempted to remove hundreds of millions of dollars in savings from the Green Line. If he truly cares about pedestrian safety then shouldn't he be prepared to invest in it?
Sean Chu has said pedestrians may well be “right”, but if they get hit they’re “dead right”. Well as far as his stance on the Pedestrian Strategy goes, Sean Chu is wrong. Dead wrong.
Ward 4 residents know firsthand that pedestrian safety needs to be improved. They need their councilor to help make things better. Here's hoping.