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Statement by Derek Sahota

I moved from the suburbs of Vancouver to buy a home in Ward 2 in 2008 and quickly realized that pedestrians in Hamilton are mere fodder in a real-life game of "Carmeggedon." In my first month here I was hit twice as a pedestrian in broad daylight in crosswalks, while I had the right of way. The response of the drivers was to insult me and blame me for them hitting me. After 3 years I can no longer count the number of times I've been sworn at, cursed and harassed as a pedestrian on Hamilton's streets.

The simple fact is that Hamilton's sidewalks and crosswalks are already deadly for pedestrians. The lack of appropriate crossings in many areas forces many pedestrians to jaywalk and put themselves in even more danger. The design of the roadways reinforces a speedway mentality amongst drivers and makes matters worse, not better.

If Hamilton is ever to become a great place to raise a child it must start to take the safety of its downtown residents seriously. Our streets need to be redesigned to ensure that pedestrians are safe and drivers more likely to pay attention.

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