Devin Way wants white lines to mark every crosswalk. The man who calls himself “the Crosswalk Avenger” has been protesting at intersections across the peninsula with a sign that reads: “Mark the crosswalks so there are no more fatalities or wrongdoings by anyone. We can make a difference.”
He’s gathered nearly 400 signatures in the past month, and he plans to present the petition to HRM.
In 2006, a motorist struck the Avenger in an unmarked crosswalk at Kempt Road and Stairs Street. The driver slowed down as she neared the stop sign. Way made eye contact with her and stuck out an arm to cross. As he stepped into the street, she hit him in the leg and he flew onto her hood, hitting the windshield with his wrists. “There’s no such thing as a rolling stop,” he says.
His injuries still cause him pain, making him unable to work, he says. Recently the Avenger has read similar stories in the news of cars striking pedestrians, so he decided to start protesting for better safety conditions.
But his petition probably won’t make a difference. An HRM official says the city won’t consider painting white lines on every crosswalk. Doing so can actually make crosswalks less safe, says manager of traffic and right away Taso Koutroulakis. Connectivity, traffic volumes and pedestrian frequency determine whether a crosswalk is marked, he says.
“We want to highlight the crossings where motorists should expect crossings, because otherwise, if you were to paint crosswalks in theory at every intersection, then the importance of a marked crosswalk would be diminished.”
That’s also true of signage. If placed everywhere, signs lose their emphasis to some degree. Cost also plays into the equation somewhat. It would likely be too costly to paint every crosswalk in HRM, Koutroulakis says.
If a residents want a crosswalk at a certain location, they can call 311 to request one. Staff will then consider painting lines on the pavement.