News / Toronto

Pedestrian death prompts calls for increased safety measures

TTC suspends the use of a bus stop on Steeles Ave. after 21-year-old woman killed.

Adam Cohoon, a Walk Toronto board member and TTC Riders accessibility advocate, said there are many other dangerous bus stops, especially in suburban areas.

Metro File

Adam Cohoon, a Walk Toronto board member and TTC Riders accessibility advocate, said there are many other dangerous bus stops, especially in suburban areas.

The TTC has pulled a Scarborough bus stop from service following the death of a pedestrian.

The 21-year-old woman was hit by a car after getting off the bus and attempting to cross Steeles Avenue near Eastvale Drive last Sunday evening. She was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and pronounced dead.

A GoFundMe campaign to cover funeral costs has identified the victim as Jessica Renee Salickram.

"In view of this recent tragedy, we are suspending use of this stop until further notice," TTC spokesperson Stuart Green wrote in an email to Metro. Riders will have to get on or off elsewhere as the city reviews its options.

Illustration of a bus stop in Scarborough where a 21-year-old woman was killed by a driver as she attempted to cross the street.

Andres Plana / Metro

Illustration of a bus stop in Scarborough where a 21-year-old woman was killed by a driver as she attempted to cross the street.

The inconvenient location makes it difficult for riders to safely board or disembark, said area councillor Neethan Shan. The south side of Steeles where the stop is located is next to a field with no sidewalk, leaving passengers in a pile of snow during the winter months. The area has no street lights, and there's no stop sign or crosswalks for pedestrians looking to cross north into the residential area.

"It is in an area that has seen a phenomenal amount of population growth over the past decade, and the streets are still the way they were all these years," Shan said.

At the upcoming community council meeting, Shan will propose the installation of traffic lights at the Steeles and Eastvale intersection. He said the city also needs to increase visibility in the area and rethink speed limits, given the increase in car traffic from suburban residents who use Steeles/Tauton as an alternative to the 401.

Shan said the city conducted a study of the area a few years ago, before he was elected to council, but decided no change was needed.

"We cannot wait to catch up on things of safety," he said. "It's unfortunate that the attention is coming after a tragic incident. I share the frustration of the community."

Adam Cohoon, a Walk Toronto board member and TTC Riders accessibility advocate, said there are many other dangerous bus stops, especially in suburban areas.

"If the road is busy enough to necessitate a bus, there should be a sidewalk on both sides," said Cohoon, who uses a power wheelchair.

The fact that all three pedestrian deaths so far in 2018 happened when people tried to cross the street shows a lack of convenient points of crossing all over the city, said Cohoon.

"That's not putting pedestrians first."

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