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Focus on pedestrians helps locals connect to North Van neighbourhoods

Last Updated Jun 23, 2019 at 2:45 pm PDT

(Getty Images)
Summary

There are more leading pedestrian intervals at intersections in North Vancouver

The city is also improving lighting for pedestrians, not just to improve visibility

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The City of North Vancouver has done a lot to make getting around on foot easier and says its focus on pedestrians is helping connect people to their neighbourhoods.

From expanded sidewalks to improved lighting to a new way for pedestrians to cross at traffic lights, the North Shore city has been building up its infrastructure to make it more inviting for people on foot or bike.

Deputy Director of Engineering Karyn Magnusson says the feedback has been great, and the bonus is people feel more engaged with their communities and find it easier to get around.

For starters, there are more leading pedestrian intervals at intersections in North Vancouver – essentially an advance walk signal.

“It’s a great pedestrian safety feature where pedestrians are given a bit of a headstart so they can get into the crosswalk making them more visible to cars,” Magnusson says.

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Other cities, including Vancouver, have also been expanding their use.

“Pedestrians both in our municipality and others certainly can recognize that when they’re given just a couple seconds headstart, they can confidently move into the crosswalk and vehicles are more likely to see them before they start to initiate that right turn.”

Magnusson adds the city is also improving lighting for pedestrians, not just to improve visibility.

“That can provide a level of comfort so people feel more welcome and at ease using the pedestrian and cycling facilities in our community.”

She says in a dense, urban area like the City of North Vancouver, making it easier and more comfortable to walk or bike pays dividends, including increasing how connected people feel to their neighbourhoods.

“When they do choose to walk, they can enjoy it. It’s safe, reliable and inviting, and an interesting way to see your neighbourhood.”