I have been living in Calgary since October of 2007 and I am a pedestrian on most days. If I had a dollar for every time I was almost hit crossing on Calgary sidewalks I would easily have a months pay set aside in a "I almost died RRSP" by now.
After a pedestrian was struck and killed up the road from where I live and a spot where I walk by now every morning I thought I would throw my two cents on here and show some of the most dangerous spots in Calgary I have come across in the last seven years.
4th St NE @ Hunterbourne Way NE :
I used to cross at this cross walk every day when I would get off work and just about every day I would have a close call. First of all let me point out that I don't use my smart phone when crossing at any intersections and don't have my noise cancelling headphones plugged in.
This intersection I would usually have to wait for 10-20 cars to pass before someone would stop and just about every day when one care would finally stop for me another car wouldn't realize what was happening and speed past the other car so I had to be really careful crossing this one.
Centre ST NE & 36th Ave NE :
You would think with a traffic light this would be one of the safest places to cross Centre street right? NOT the case. I cross this set light every day Monday to Friday and the problem here is people speeding up Centre Street (Probably to beat the line at the Tim Hortons up the road) but usually once or twice a week even though the lights are flashing I have to look both ways five or six times to make sure someone isn't going to run in to me.
Note : On the other side of these lights is a school zone and I'm sure 90% of people that fly through it are either "Staring at their crotch a.k.a smart phone" or just in too much of a hurry to care. The biggest thing I notice with this intersection is that even when people do stop they give you the "look of death" as you have just caused their day such a huge inconvenience by making them stop for all of TEN seconds. Dear drivers of YYC I am so sorry that I have put caused this stress in to your precious time.
CENTRE ST NE & 40TH AVE NE :
The big problem here is the people turning right on to Centre Street from 40th Avenue. They love to look to the left to make sure nothing is coming and then peel out on to Centre Street without looking to see if anyone is on the corner waiting to cross at the lights . Now perhaps they're all wired of from their first sip of morning coffee they've just had or anxious to have their rebellious moment of the day and zip through the above mentioned "School Zone" but whatever the case I have seen numerous people almost hit at this location atleast a few times a week.
The "Don't look to the right" syndrome seems to be an epidemic in Calgary more so than the "Crotch Watchers" or maybe it's a combo of both who knows but either way PLEASE take a moment to look to the right before you turn right it would sure make me feel a lot safer.
Centre St NE & 32nd Ave NE
This is another good one but just an example of what I like to call the "Left Turn Creepers" happens at this intersection every time I take my dog out for a walk. The problem here which I'm sure happens at just about every intersection when someone is trying to turn left on a short green light.
You stop on the corner, press the walk signal which is only up for about five seconds, however there's that person trying to turn left on Centre that you can feel creeping up behind you. Most times when I cross at this light with my dog I'm still about five feet from the other side and a car will whip left behind me most times coming within a few feet of me. Again, Dear Calgarian drivers I'm sorry that I have inconvenienced your day by all of five precious seconds.
I was watching the local news over the weekend and they were saying that more "Traffic Cameras" could cut down on the number of incidents between drivers and pedestrians in the city. Well I think that's a crock because it comes down to mutual respect and people watching the roads (and sidewalks) and not looking down at their phones or not paying attention in general.
Us pedestrians aren't perfect either every day I see people running if theirs no traffic coming, or if the "Don't Walk" sign is up they don't care and will rush to beat the light anyways so it's a "Two Way Street" (Pardon the horrible pun) where people just need to be more respectful of each other.
We could also cut down on the "C-Train Vs Pedestrian" incidents if people would also put down their phones when crossing and unplug your noise cancelling headphones.
There is my two cents on the "Pedestrian Vs Vehicle" crisis in YYC