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This article was published 21/3/2019 (241 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Coun. Vivian Santos wants to see improvements made to the pedestrian crossing where a four-year-old girl and her mother were struck by a passing vehicle earlier this week.
The girl died from her injuries Tuesday. Her mother is in stable condition.
Santos (Point Douglas) told reporters Thursday the crossing at Isabel Street and Alexander Avenue needs to be upgraded with eye-level, flashing LED lights, similar to the system installed on St. Anne’s Road last year after an eight-year-old was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing the busy street at Varennes Avenue.
Santos said that small children can’t be expected to follow proper procedures when crossing at a marked pedestrian crosswalk, adding there is an onus on motorists to slow down and look for pedestrians when approaching marked crossings.
"We were always taught to stick your hand out and then walk across the street. At the same time, people in vehicles need to be mindful when approaching a crosswalk to always look (for pedestrians) and slow down," Santos said. "You can’t expect a four-year-old to know."
The girl and her mother were crossing Isabel just before noon Monday on their way to Dufferin School to meet her six-year-old brother, when they were struck by a northbound vehicle.
Santos raised her concerns during Thursday's council meeting and talked to reporters afterwards.
The Alexander crossing is one of two along Isabel that needs to be upgraded, she said, adding she has been working for years to get the crossing two blocks south, at Ross Avenue, changed to an intersection with signals.
While there is a lighted pedestrian crossing at Ross Avenue, Santos said there is a lot of traffic and motorists turning onto Isabel from Ross don’t always notice the flashing yellow lights when pedestrians are in the crosswalk.
Santos said that previous attempts by her and ward predecessor Mike Pagtakhan to upgrade the intersection were not supported by officials in the public works department who said there wasn’t a high enough traffic count to justify the installation of traffic signals.
Santos said she envisions upgrading the Isabel-Ross intersection with pedestrian-initiated traffic signals that would allow the light facing Isabel to stay green unless a pedestrian activates the red light to stop traffic and get across.
Santos she’ll be raising both crossings at the next meeting of the public works committee.
Mayor Brian Bowman said there are several studies underway at the public works department to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety and he’ll wait for the recommendations from those reports before initiating any action.
"The purpose of the reports coming forward is to get better information so we can make thoughtful and progressive changes going forward. I support those efforts," Bowman said.
Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.
Updated on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 4:22 PM CDT: corrects condition of mother