Pedestrian safety in the Downtown Eastside (DTES)
A Dangerous Strip
A 2009 study by researchers at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia found that a small strip in the DTES was the most dangerous place for pedestrians in Vancouver and that 10% of all pedestrian injuries happen in this neighbourhood.
Partnership for Pedestrians
To tackle this safety threat, the Great Beginnings Program team engaged with DTES residents to
- Create awareness about pedestrian safety in the community.
- Increase knowledge about factors contributing to DTES pedestrian injury.
- Recommend solutions to make the DTES safer for pedestrians.
The DTES Pedestrian Safety project aimed to provide good health and safety across all sectors of the DTES population. A partnership between the City and the non-profit Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) set out common goals and integrated responses to pedestrian safety along Hastings Street.
Safer DTES Streets
As a result of this project, the City of Vancouver:
- Increased walk times at targeted crosswalks.
- Put in place crosswalk clearance times.
- Installed a countdown pedestrian timer at the intersection of Hastings and Main Streets.
- Installed speed reader boards.
- Reduced speed limit to 30km per hour to create a pedestrian safety zone.
- Increased road safety awareness.