Letter: Safety Improvements Needed at Charlton and Wentworth

By Letter to the Editor
Published November 05, 2013

I write today with the hope that some immediate action will be taken to address the unsafe pedestrian/cyclist crossing at Charlton Avenue East and Wentworth Street South.

Charlton Avenue (left) and Wentworth Street (RTH file photo)
Charlton Avenue (left) and Wentworth Street (RTH file photo)

We as a city have grown in recent years and are attracting many newcomers with the accessible housing market and growth in various job markets. We promote the walkability of our neighbourhoods, and the recreational paths that encircle the bay front and criss-cross the escarpment.

It is important that we protect the users who take us up on the recreational paths that we as a city have to offer.

The recent fatality that occurred at Charlton and Wentworth was tragic but it was not an accident.

Though the impact happened on the sidewalk, it is the lack of traffic safety measures in that whole area that led to a young woman losing her life.

Numerous traffic control measures exist that could mitigate the danger to pedestrians and cyclists in this area.

Starting above the curve, rumble strips could be used to indicate the speed limit drop from 50 km/h to 20 km/h, a more robust barrier could be installed to provide actual security for the many trail users that stretch in the small clearing the base of the stairs.

Most importantly, for years pedestrians and cyclists have been left to scurry across that intersection without any guarantee of safety. Proper road paint, a mirror, and increased signage together would improve the visibility/safety of the crossing.

If I allow myself to dream about the most viable long term solution to this hazardous crossing, I envision a bridge that would guarantee the safety of trail users - regardless of the road conditions, or the condition of the driver.

Tom Shepherd,

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted November 05, 2013 at 10:33:13

Two simple changes would increase safety significantly, and the cost would be minimal:

  1. Treat Charlton and Wentworth as an INTERSECTION rather than a continuous curve. There should be a right-angle turn, with a stop sign for cars coming from Charlton Eastbound onto Wentworth Northbound. This would mean that cars turning onto Wentworth would be going significantly slower.

  2. A tabletop speed hump where the rail trail crosses Wentworth. This woul ensure slower speeds at that high-use crossing and would be no more disruptive to drivers than the railway tracks they are forced to cross a few metres North.

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