*Pedestrian death, injuries put renewed focus on road design and safety*
*Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman says the city is following a plan to reduce collisions*
The death of a four-year-old girl after she and her mother were hit by a vehicle in a crosswalk on Monday has put renewed focus on pedestrian safety in Winnipeg.
Some people, including Coun. Janice Lukes, have called on the city to adopt a concept called Vision Zero. Developed in Sweden, it aims to change infrastructure and road design to reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities from motor vehicle accidents, with the aim of zero injuries and fatalities from car collisions.
Edmonton adopted the strategy in 2016 and has seen a reduction in the number of people hurt and killed on their streets.
"We feel we've been very fortunate over the last three years," said Gerry Shimko, executive director of Edmonton's office of traffic safety.
Serious injuries have gone down 17 per cent, from 385 people hospitalized in 2015 to 319 last year. Pedestrian injuries are down 21 per cent, cyclist injuries are down 29 per cent and motorcycle injuries 26 per cent over the last three years, Shimko said.
"So it's all trending in the right direction," he said.
Changes under the program include narrowing roadways so drivers don't feel like they can speed through, and setting speed limits at 40 km/h in some communities.
The strategy also proposes raising crosswalks to encourage drivers to slow down, and putting in curb extensions to reduce the distance pedestrians have to cross,
"One of the primary focuses is to really look at identifying where your high-risk locations are for fatalities and serious injuries," he said.
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman says the city's road safety improvement efforts are following a plan adopted by the federal government called Towards Zero.
"That's been incorporated and has been demonstrating, notwithstanding the fact that accidents are still going to happen, is still demonstrating some good, positive successes," Bowman said.
The four-year-old girl and her mother — newcomers to Canada — were hit while in a crosswalk at Isabel Street and Alexander Avenue around noon Monday.
On Wednesday, a pedestrian was taken to hospital in critical condition after being hit on Osborne Street near Morley Avenue and Bartlet Avenue.
Bowman said he's committed to discussing ways to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers in the city.
Shimko said anyone interested in learning from Edmonton's experience is welcome to visit.
"At the end of the day we believe that everybody's family should leave and come home safely."