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  • Matt Harrison

Nearly invisible crosswalks

My littlest one took a blank piece of paper, drew a black dot on it and asked, “What’s this?” I hadn’t seen the ‘polar bear in the snowstorm’ joke since I was five. Still funny. Sort of. Until it made me think about visibility in the winter and crosswalks.

Driving along Riverside Drive in Wakefield recently, a pedestrian on the road caught my attention — but not the crosswalk sign, which is nearly invisible in the winter months, being white, with black figures, a dotted line and an arrow pointing down towards the road. Worse, the yellow crosswalk bars painted on the road were buried beneath new snow. Even when cleared, they are masked by a layer of sand/salt grime.

Surely someone at the Ministry of Transportation realized that Quebec experiences at least six months of winter and how ineffective these crosswalk measures would be? Surely?

Every day, tens of children and their parents cross that crosswalk on Riverside Drive in the winter months. As a father who regularly picks up his children from Wakefield Elementary, I’ve observed cars slowing down, but not necessarily stopping at the crosswalk, likely for some of the same reasons listed above — which isn’t an excuse, but the province certainly isn’t helping out drivers with the poorly designed signs.