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Vancouver: Worst city in Canada for pedestrian deaths

June 29th, 2010 · 48 Comments

A small brief in the local media last January caught my eye: a 27-year-old had been hit in a pedestrian crosswalk near my house, but he had no identification and police were trying to figure out who he was.

The next blurb said he had died in hospital. Police never released his name. But the little mention stuck in my head. My son is 27 — the age when you think your kids are safe. So I kept trying to find out what happened.

My column in Vancouver magazine coming out soon tells the story of who that young man was and what happened. I also discovered, along the way, just how many pedestrians are killed in Vancouver — far more than Toronto and Montreal. Some of it can be explained by the fact that we have more walkers here, although you’d think, if there are more walkers, there’d be more precautions in place to make sure they don’t get run down.

Other cities have drastically lowered their pedestrian deaths by trying out different strategies and going on aggressive campaigns. Montreal, which had 27 deaths two years ago, had only four by the end of May, when I wrote this story.

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