MSVU student demands traffic light after almost getting hit
Students say the intersection at College Road and Bedford Highway is too dangerous to cross
January 26, 2018, 8:29 am ASTLast Updated: January 26, 2018, 8:29 am AST'
A Mount Saint Vincent University student has started a petition for a traffic light on the Bedford Highway after she was almost hit by a car.
“I had hit the (crosswalk) light and it was flashing,” said Madeline Mitchell. “And I was halfway across, and two cars had stopped on either side, when somebody decided to go around that car and proceed right through the intersection.”
The Bedford Highway has three lanes. One lane is inbound to Halifax and the other two outbound to Bedford. The middle lane becomes a left turning only lane at the traffic lights where Flamingo Road intersects with the Bedford Highway.
Mitchell started a petition in December on Change.org urging the Halifax Regional Municipality to put a traffic light at the intersection. She said within 12 hours she had over 500 signatures.
“The student body has taken it so far,” she said. “We have parents that are signing it. We have alumni who now live in Alberta who are signing it and a lot of professors are signing it.”
Mitchell said an alternative to the lights could be an awareness campaign focused on motorists and a need to slow down and pay more attention.
The president of the MSVU student union, Alexander Cuming, has been at the school for five years and said his experience with the crosswalk has been very consistent.
“What I find often happens is the lane in the middle won’t have someone in it right away, so you’ll start walking across because the two cars on the outside lanes will stop, but a car in the middle will fly through the intersection … less than a foot from me,” he said, adding it has happened multiple times. “So it is quite a scary situation.”
The idea of a traffic light at this spot has come up before.
On Oct. 2, 2007, Halifax regional council discussed the motion for a traffic light at MSVU. Some alternatives were suggested like an overpass or underpass. The end of the information report says “installation of a trafﬁc signal, even if the university would pay, will not be approved by the Trafﬁc Authority unless warranted.”
Mitchell and Nikki Jamieson, student union vice-president of advocacy, both said a pedway would help pedestrian traffic, but not vehicle traffic.
“Even as a driver I’m terrified to turn left,” said Jamieson, adding she has almost been rear-ended multiple times at that intersection.
“I live in Sackville, but I’ll turn right and go all the way up to Bayview and go up through Clayton Park, just to come back to the Bedford Highway because it’s basically impossible to get out of here.”
Jamieson said she is just one of around a thousand cars that come in and out at MSVU every day.
“We know there have been previous inquiries,” she said. “We know there have been near misses and accidents down there and I’m just wondering how much further this has to go before something serious happens.”
Jamieson said at least one student had been hit within the past two years. She referred to the person as “someone we’re all close with,” but for privacy reasons, didn’t give other details on the person’s identity.
Gillian Batten, a communications representative for MSVU, said the university administration supports the petition and has looked at the possibility of a traffic light in the past.
MSVU is in a regional district represented by Coun. Russell Walker. He said in a phone interview Wednesday morning that he plans to talk with the school on Monday.
“I hate to say if I’m against it or for it because I’m going to do what they want me to do,” he said.