Iqaluit: Residents Concerned about Pedestrian Safety after Traffic Influx

Update: see previous posts – August 15/15 Iqaluit: Iqaluit Teen Struck by Vehicle, July 31/15 Iqaluit: Road Safety Concerns Raised in Iqaluit after 4-Year-Old Boy Killed, July 21/15 Iqaluit: No Charges Laid in Iqaluit Crash that Sent 2 Young Girls to Hospital

Pedestrians crossing the busy four-corners intersection in downtown Iqaluit. Photo by CBC
Pedestrians crossing the busy four-corners intersection in downtown Iqaluit. (CBC)

‘We need to come up with a solution before a child gets hit,’ says resident Steven Lonsdale

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A traffic influx in Iqaluit has some residents sounding off about pedestrian safety again.

With the start of the school season, there are more cars on the road and many people say they’re seeing drivers rolling through stop signs, or just plain ignoring them.

“I’ve observed it throughout the day, it could be 10 in the morning or it could be 10 at night,” says Iqaluit resident Steven Lonsdale, who lives near the four-way stop in the Plateau.

“I don’t want to fear for my child’s life every time I send them out the door.”

Lonsdale shared his concerns on Facebook, and residents from other parts of town quickly chimed in with stories of close-calls.

“It happens at the Apex four-way, as well as the tundra subdivision and other parts of town,” Lonsdale says.

“There are places in the city that I feel are unsafe,” says resident Allen Auksaq.

Allen Auksaq Iqaluit resident

Iqaluit resident Allen Auksaq says there are places in the city that he feels are unsafe. (CBC)

“One place is near the boarding home, because there are medical patients from other communities trying to cross to the hospital, and people don’t stop.”

Another resident, Andrew Cameron, says pedestrians also need to start paying attention.

“Honestly, people also walk out wherever they want without looking.”

The city says citizens should write down license plate numbers and report violators to municipal enforcement.

“We will investigate the incident and the witness will have to testify in court,” says Kevin Sloboda, Chief Enforcement Officer.

“People don’t have manners in this city, they just don’t care. A few years ago there was a child who got run over, and that could happen again,” says Israel Mablick, another resident.

‘We need to come up with a solution before a child gets hit’

This isn’t the first time residents have raised concerns about street safety in Iqaluit. In 2013, a 4-year-old boy died after he was hit by a truck at the four corners near Arctic Ventures Marketplace. One year later two girls were hit on the same stretch of road. The incidents lead to calls for better-marked crosswalks in the city.

RCMP spokesperson Yvonne Niego says motorists need to be more cautious, especially when they’re driving in areas with children.

“The bus stops are unmarked and sometimes it can be very difficult to see the children behind the posts and while they’re playing,” Niego says.

Lonsdale says it’s only a matter of time before there’s another tragedy.

“We need to come up with a solution before a child gets hit.”

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