Top News

Woman’s death sparks crosswalk safety concerns in Kentville

Flowers of remembrance are shown Friday near the Kentville crosswalk where a woman was struck by a truck and killed Tuesday morning.
Flowers of remembrance are shown Friday near the Kentville crosswalk where a woman was struck by a truck and killed Tuesday morning. - Ian Fairclough

Kentville’s mayor said she hasn’t personally received any calls about crosswalk safety in the wake of the death of a pedestrian earlier this week, but she knows that there are people talking about concerns within the town.

“We’ve had a few people send information to our police service,” Sandra Snow said Friday.

“We’re waiting for the report on the accident to come in before we make any decisions.”

Valerie Dawn Patterson, 70, died Tuesday morning after she was struck by a pickup truck in a marked crosswalk at the intersection of Oakdene Avenue and Belcher Street. Half a dozen bouquets of flowers had been placed at a power pole near the crosswalk by Friday, visible as cars in two eastbounds lanes stopped for a pedestrian while a westbound car drove through the crossing.

Snow said the town has been analyzing a new active transportation plan that it received in June, and plans to start implementing recommendations.

“Active transportation is about everything except vehicles,” she said. “We’ve been talking about crosswalks, and foremost on our mind is first of all cutting down the amount of time that a pedestrian spends in a crosswalk, and how you, at the end of the day, make that time period that they are in the street safer.”

She said the town has “these beautiful wide streets, that almost encourage people to drive too fast. I think that as drivers and pedestrians we have to learn those basic lessons of sharing the road.”

"We’re looking at how do we make our crosswalks safer. Some places have the big X in front of the crosswalk, but are people paying attention to those things?"

- Kentville mayor Sandra Snow

Earlier this year, a man suffered serious injuries after he was struck and run over by a truck in a downtown crosswalk.

“Any time there’s a tragedy, the question is always ‘what can we do,’” Snow said. “The best thing we can do is see what the police report tells us. ... We do have a plan to make our town safer, and it comes as part of our active transportation (system). Linking the different parts of town, and making sure that wherever you live, you can get safely downtown.”

She said the town is expanding sidewalks at the west end of town.

“We’re looking at how do we make our crosswalks safer. Some places have the big X in front of the crosswalk, but are people paying attention to those things?”

She said on Friday morning she was waiting to cross a street at a T intersection in the town and made eye contact with the driver stopped at the stop sign, but another car coming from behind her didn’t stop and turned up the road across the crosswalk.

Also recently, she said she activated the overhead light to cross Main Street and five cars went through it without stopping for her.

In July 2000, a pedestrian died in hospital one week after he was struck on Main Street in the town.

Recent Stories