City crews are starting construction upgrades this morning (Sept. 24) on the crosswalk at Ospika Boulevard and First Avenue to improve safety for local travellers.
The existing Heritage-area crosswalk is being improved from its basic design of crosswalk markings on the asphalt and crosswalk signs to a "rectangular rapid flashing beacon" design.
This is set to allow pedestrians to push a button to activate flashing lights meant to further alert motorists to the presence of pedestrians at the crossing.
The crosswalk was the site where 18-year-old Sean Lode was hit by an oncoming vehicle while using the pedestrian crosswalk.
After suffering severe injuries, Lode’s family created a Change.org petition demanding the crosswalk be updated, which gained more than 3,000 signatures and hundreds of comments.
The project is now underway and scheduled to be completed by early October.
Earlier this month, a similar upgrade was installed at the crosswalk on Ospika Boulevard at Davis Road.
Both crosswalk enhancements were recommended as part of the city’s first-ever Pedestrian Crossing Strategy, which was received by council earlier this summer.
The strategy provides a prioritization strategy to implement pedestrian crossing upgrades as prescribed by the updated Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide by the Transportation Association of Canada.
Out of the 202 city crosswalks evaluated as part of the strategy, 43 local crossings were recommended for upgrade or installation, 26 upgrades to existing crosswalks and 17 new crosswalks.
The pedestrian crossing improvements on Ospika are not the first crosswalk operations of the year in Prince George. Earlier in the year, the City installed an all-new crosswalk across Massey Drive near Coyle Street and Foot Street by Ginter’s Meadow.