A group of 20 angry Renfrew-Collingwood residents gathered for a rally Oct. 25 at the intersection where their friend and neighbour was killed just a few weeks ago.
As reported previously in the Courier, Wilma Yerex, 72, died after being hit by a car while crossing the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Earles Street Oct. 7.
Marlene White, 70, was a friend of Yerex and organized the rally to call for a pedestrian crossing light at the intersection.
She said she has been in touch with the city several times to say the crosswalk is dangerous but nothing has been done.
“I am not a leader, I don’t do things like this … but I just got so discouraged and I just felt sick about Wilma getting hit there like that. I felt like I had to do something,” said White.
Jerry Dobrovolny, director of transportation for the City of Vancouver, told the Courier the city held a review of the crosswalk in 2011 and deemed no changes were necessary.
“This intersection itself is equipped with signage — it has a zebra-paint crosswalk marking and it has got curb bulging on either side so it actually has got quite a bit of the safety features that we design in to improve safety at crosswalks,” he said.
Dobrovolny added that in the past five years no other pedestrian or bicyclist fatalities were reported at the crosswalk, but once the Vancouver Police Department completes its investigation of the Yerex accident the city will go over the police report and review the crosswalk again if necessary.
Orlando Rodriguez, who was at the rally waving a sign at passing cars that read “We need a light,” has lived across from the intersection for over 10 years.
“I cross this street and I knew that there is really something wrong here and I knew that something was going to happen and it happened. I myself, when I cross the street, there are so many cars that don’t respect the rules and the pedestrians,” he said.
White said the residents will keep up their fight for crossing light as a way to honour their friend Yerex, whom she described as a fixture in the neighbourhood who always helped others. “She was a very kind person,” she said.