More than 300 pedestrians are killed by motorists in Canada each year. In Toronto alone, 163 pedestrians have been killed since 2011. But it doesn't have to be this way. Most collisions between pedestrians and vehicles are, one could argue, "by design" -- policy design, that is.
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In the name of beautifying streets and the desire to create urban promenades, we often end up with poorly planned arterials that subject pedestrians and others to unnecessary safety risks. Look no further than the Front Street at Union Station in Toronto, where every morning a flood of commuters inundates the neighbouring streets.
On the morning of Oct. 28, 2015, 12 pedestrians were struck by cars in the City of Toronto. While some would say it's the result of a wet, grey day, this statistic follows an average of six pedestrians being hit each day, a stunningly high number set to increase as density intensifies and our population ages.
It's a sad day for Toronto as a family will hold funeral for a seven-year-old girl. She was hit by a van near her home. Her death is an unimaginable loss to her family and the community. This loss of life should compel us to think about making our streets safer for all, but especially for pedestrians and bicyclists, who are more vulnerable than others are. The tragedy is raising questions about the harmful impacts of increased traffic on residential streets.
Each year in B.C., about 65 pedestrians don't survive a collision with a vehicle. My sister-in-law was one of the lucky ones. Lucky, if you count spending two months in hospital, having a steel plate in your leg, and requiring a cane to walk, as luck.
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