Concerns over drivers speeding past Rainforest Trail hikers have prompted the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve to install a new pedestrian controlled crosswalk.
The new crosswalk is expected to cost $100,000 and was scheduled to be completed by March 31.
The Pacific Rim Highway intersects the trail and the Park Reserve installed a painted crosswalk and lowered speed limits in the area in 2015.
“Despite these efforts, drivers continue to drive over the speed limit placing pedestrians at risk, said Park Reserve asset manager Jackie Godfrey.
She said the new crosswalk would include “new, highly visible attention grabbing lights” that will flash when a pedestrian is using the crosswalk.
“We are investing in quality roads and visitor infrastructure to ensure the safety of our visitors and providing them with the necessities to explore and adventure outside,” she said. “This infrastructure is being installed to further enhance pedestrian and motorist safety by providing motorists advanced warning to slow down and stop to allow pedestrians to safely cross the highway.”
She added that minimal delays are expected for motorists and the Park Reserve is confident the crosswalk’s flashing lights will not cause significant disturbance to wildlife.
“The beacons at the new crossing will only flash when activated by pedestrians, which we anticipate to be during daylight hours. Parks Canada selected the new crossing after careful consideration to minimize impact to local wildlife,” she said.
The Park Reserve is also planning to install a new crosswalk at Radar Hill to link its developing 22-kilometre trail with Tofino’s Multi-Use-Path, though Godfrey said that crosswalk project is still a couple years away.