Local safety organization offers ‘brickier’ solution to pedestrians

When speedbumps fail, why not try carrying a brick?

That’s the message from one local transportation safety organization to pedestrians in Vancouver this April Fool’s Day.

Vision Zero Vancouver says it created its pedestrian brick pilot project as a call to action to politicians to take street safety more seriously across the Lower Mainland.

“Vancouver has tried pedestrian flags before, a couple of times, but they are inconvenient, undignified, and contribute to a victim blaming mentality,” the organization stated.

“We figured the real solution is something new and more attention grabbing: the pedestrian flag, but brickier.”

Pedestrians crossing the street at the entrance to Granville Island on Monday, as well as at crosswalks on Nelson and Nicola Street, were offered a foam brick to carry with them and display to waiting cars as they walked.

“Simply grab a brick at one of our designated stands, enter the crosswalk with the brick clearly visible to surrounding vehicles, and cross the street with the full confidence that you and everyone around you is aware of your ability to protect yourself,” the organization said in a video posted to Instagram.

In a statement to CityNews, the organization says about 100 people are killed in car crashes every year — one-third of which are pedestrians.

“Our organization’s goal is to end deaths and serious injuries from traffic violence,” it states. “Vision Zero has actually been achieved in other cities – not by giving pedestrians bricks, but by implementing policies and funding infrastructure to create safe systems that are proven to create safe streets. “

The organization adds measures like lowering speed limits, daylighting intersections, and improving active and public transportation can all be effective ways to improve street safety.

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