Every morning I and my wife walk our daughter to school. We have to cross one of New Westminster’s truck routes at Eighth Avenue and Cumberland Street. It’s a relatively busy intersection, especially during the morning and evening rush hours. It gts filled with trucks, as you’d expect, but also from commuters dodging the tolls on the Port Mann Bridge.
In our first three months of walking to and from school we were nearly hit by cars twice, both by drivers who were inattentive and probably pissed off from being stuck in so much traffic. This morning we saw a minor fender bender at the intersection. I talked with a crossing guard at that intersection, and she sees near-misses all the time. It’s not a very safe intersection for pedestrians.
With a ‘no’ vote this only gets worse. Traffic will get worse, we’ll have more inattentive drivers on the streets, and even worse, we’ll have more angry drivers on the streets. Drivers get angrier as their commutes lengthen. Increased traffic leads to higher stress.
Yes, there are other benefits to improving our transporation system. Thousands of people every day won’t be passed up by buses. Low wage earners will have a cheaper and more reliable transportation option. Seniors and handicapped people will have better HandiDart service.
But I voted ‘yes’ to ensure our streets don’t become more dangerous than they already are for pedestrians. I voted ‘yes’ in hopes that a near-miss doesn’t become a hit. I voted ‘yes’ so I won’t hopefully have to explain to my daughter why a driver nearly ran her down again.