Iqaluit to get crosswalk with flashing lights near boarding home
Some councillors wary of maintenance costs, but decided the crosswalk was necessary
Nunavummiut crossing the road near the boarding home and clinic in Iqaluit will soon be able to do so more safely.
City council approved a new crosswalk at Queen Elizabeth Way and Niaqungusiariaq (Apex Road), at its meeting Tuesday night. The crosswalk will be equipped with a flashing light system that requires cars to stop when pedestrians push a button, said engineering and capital planning director Sumon Ghosh.
Councillors unanimously approved a $212,736 contract for Tower Arctic Ltd. to install the crosswalk, but it didn’t come without a discussion about the costs involved.
Ghosh said once the crosswalk is built, the city will need to award another contract for annual electrical maintenance.
“Ongoing [operation and maintenance] costs for the crosswalk just kind of took me by surprise,” Coun. Kyle Sheppard said, asking how much more money the city will have to spend to keep the crosswalk up and running.
Ghosh said he’s unsure how much that contract might cost, but that the city is speaking with potential contractors about the maintenance.
Earlier in the meeting, Sheppard had raised concerns that some contracts for various projects are coming in above the amounts in the capital plan budget.
The crosswalk contract, without annual maintenance, is $49,000 over budget, including a $30,000 contingency amount that was set aside for cost overruns.
“I’d like to be more comfortable knowing what the all-in price is going to be,” Sheppard said. “I don’t want to keep approving this piecemeal when we don’t know what the final cost is going to be.”
Councillor Romeyn Stevenson agreed with Sheppard, saying he thought the city would have the capacity to maintain the electrical part of the crosswalk without contracting the work.
The crossing area has been problematic for a long time and it will only worsen with extra traffic from the new boarding home, he said.
“It’s obviously a great urgency for safety. It’s been a dangerous spot for pedestrians for years,” Stevenson said. “I think this is an absolute necessity.”
Ghosh said the work should start in the summer and hopefully be complete by Oct. 15.
The most dangerous spot is the stop sign by the NAC Main Campus. Traffic and pedestrians going up/down Plateau, traffic and pedestrians from towards the Boarding Home/Hospital, traffic and pedestrians from the pool, traffic and pedestrians from the High School. All of this chaos during peak and also off-peak hours, and only 1 stop sign. It makes no sense. There are 4-way stop signs near the middle school with far less traffic and pedestrians at any given time. Why only 1 stop sign here?
That’s 1 expensive crosswalk, the paint they use can’t even last a whole summer, how long will this last.
what is your solution?
Why not put a roundabout at 4 corners, as well as a roundabout coming down from the Plateau?
While we’re at it, why not make another road off the back of the plateau that meets up with the road from the airport, somewhere between the airport and Blackheart? I know there are issues of IOL in that small stretch of land, but having ALL the plateau traffic funnel through the one street by the Main Campus is a traffic nightmare, and a major town planning oversight.
An engineering firm did an assessment. Basically thought people were too stupid for a roundabout.
I disagree, roundabouts are designed for everyone, much more efficient and it can handle chaos.
And which corner building (s) are you going to knock down to make space for a roundabout at the 4 corners.
I have said it before and will say it again. Put by-law at the corner during peak traffic times to manually direct traffic.
Just align the roundabout closer to the in that empty space towards to the city garage. Roundabouts are proven to be much more efficient at managing traffic, and a lot of cities in the south are replacing traffic lights with roundabouts. They also don’t require human resources to direct traffic.
GN should provide vehicles for every Inuk over 16 years of age.
Go round up some loose dogs and put together a dog team.
For those prices why not buy some good warm tuktu clothing with a flashing light vest. and hire someone (or multiple people for shorter shifts… good after school god for high school kid) for $20/ hour to be there during peak hours as a crossing guard. if it is 10 hours a day everyday probably not really needed every day at $20/hr that is a $73,000/year job the contract to build and maintain it would over at least 4 years for a guard.
Maybe because hiring a full time team of crossing guards is a terrible idea? You did the math on hiring people to do this mind numbing job but didn’t think through the most basic problems with it.
Good luck finding people who want to stand around outside (in all weather, including blizzards) doing nothing but occasionally taking ten steps out into the street for someone to cross, and then going back to just standing there. It would be the most tedious job in Nunavut.
Would you build a shelter for these crossing guards ? A bathroom? If they’re going to be standing there for hours do they get a chair? Who enforces shift times? What happens when people don’t show up to work? You suggest high school students, but I’ve had difficulty getting adults to be punctual to their job. Does the city provide them insurance in case they are hit with a car during their duties? Or if they get sued by someone else who gets hit by a car because the guards were not there outside of peak hours?
Or, instead of all that headache, the city installs a set of flashing lights you push a button to activate. Available whenever, by whoever needs them. much better
So why was the hospital cross walk selected. Is it because of the boarding home? J walking is so common up here. As stated above, the crosswalk should have been at arctic College
Yes J-Walking is normal, however i would imagine the main reason for that location is the Boarding home… the number of sick and slow moving elders/people that need to cross that street is probably higher then any other location in the city.
though I think a Stop sign would be also a reasonable cheaper option.
Couldn’t there be more light in that area? its so dark there when the sun goes down. Better than a a pole with buttons to push for kids to vandalized? while we are at it, there need to be a left turn to the plateau in front of the college. There should not be a crosswalk in front of the college, its really dangerous with cars from plateau trying to turn left and right and oncoming traffic trying to turn into the high school, that is a bad intersection for pedestrian.
Just put a stop sign instead of a fancy cross walk that will go broke in no time. There u go just saved City $200,000.
Because a stop sign would require every single vehicle on the busiest road in Iqaluit to stop regardless of whether or not anyone needs to cross. It would cause a ridiculous amount of traffic jams. The crosswalk stop light would only flash when someone needs to cross the road. Traffic-wise, it makes far, far more sense than a stop sign
If there is a pedestrian light instead of a stop sign, I’d argue that’s even more dangerous. Vehicles further back the line may not know someone is crossing there and everyone is stopping. Whereas if there was a stop sign, every single driver would know they must stop. There will be fender benders for sure.
Then people need to learn to drive. It’s a capital city, and even in much larger cites with far more traffic use flashing light crosswalks.
Simply drive slower with enough reaction time to stop, simple as
Alright know it all, go run for city council. You seem to offer a lot of solutions here on NN.
It’s expensive, it’s not where I want it, kids will break it, it should be someone working 50 hours a week for peanuts(lol, wut).
Why do anything at all? You couldn’t pay me enough to work in Public Works.
With some planning and foresight the City could have handing a private/public partnership to share the cost. The owner of the boarding homes will be profiting greatly from the extra business so perhaps they should have been expected to share the cost?? Logical thinking but foresight would be required.
I think its needed however with the amount of money the city will put out for maintenance why not have one of the high priced city workers like JB trained to maintain the system? Invest the money once in training.
Maybe if bylaw controlled the traffic during lunch and supper time it could alleviate the stress on the rush.
Stop lights are colonial! Stop lights should stay down south where they belong
The roads are a Roman colonial imposition, driving is cis heteronormative and systemically racist and ever problematic!
In case you wonder —-
denoting or relating to a world view that promotes heterosexuality as the normal or preferred sexual orientation.”
Not sure what that has to do with a crosswalk.
A cross walk on an often icy hill. Another bright idea from a dimwitted city council.
With so many bad drivers here I’m not sure if this will help, on top of that so many drink and drive, seems to just be getting worse with all the drinking and driving that goes on, the cops can’t keep up.
Good point. Lots are stoned out of their minds too.
Eventually someone will get run over by an impaired driver. Too much of that happening.
I would like to bring attention my frustration concern that no one is taking my preposition of housing lose dogs seriously. No one wants lose dogs on the road ways but if they are going to be there they need homes to go to.
Because Iqaluit is not rounding up the dogs and giving them a place to live, the dogs will need to learn how to abode the crosswalks and bylaws. Maybe bylaw could train the lose dogs how to cross the road. Bylaw Bob certainly would have. He was the most careing bylaw officer this town ever had.
If we are going to spend gajillions of dollars on crosswalks and shiny lights then lets spend some money on the roaming dogs of the city too. They deserve it.
Therefore through your elite newspaper I would like to draw attention of the concerned authorities.