News / Calgary

Memorial Drive lights haven't stopped Calgary Peace Bridge jaywalkers

City of Calgary spent $400,000 to create a new crosswalk for pedestrians and cyclists to travel to the Peace Bridge safely

Pedestrians cross at the new set of lights on Memorial Drive and 9 Street NW.

JENNIFER FRIESEN/FOR METRO / Calgary Freelance

Pedestrians cross at the new set of lights on Memorial Drive and 9 Street NW.

The city is considering enforcement after the new $400,000 traffic lights haven't significantly reduced the number of jaywalkers headed toward the iconic Peace Bridge

In 2015, the city logged 129 pedestrians crossing Memorial Drive in the 9 Street area, where there's now a traffic light. In June 2017, a similar count with the new light showed 912 people crossed between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Another study Aug. 3 found 995 people crossed at the new intersection.

The same study from 2015 saw 135 people jaywalking near 8 Street. The 2017 traffic counts with the light show that 111 pedestrians in one day and 85 the other are still crossing illegally.

The city was hoping the jaywalking would have dropped to near zero.

"We've done as much as we probably can in terms of landscaping and signage and things, I guess the next thing would be possibly enforcement – that's the way to address these things effectively," said traffic division leader, Pat Grisak.

He said they'd have to meet with Calgary Police to develop an enforcement strategy for the area.

Coun Druh Farrell said a lot of the jaywalkers are tourists, which makes it difficult to train the public walking pattern.

"It does show there was a pent up demand for crossing at that site," said Farrell.

Despite the continued jaywalking, Grisak said the new crosswalk has brought new people to the area and helped redirect some foot traffic.

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