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Pedestrian Safety Project

The Downtown Eastside Pedestrian Safety Project is a pilot program being run by the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) to address the high number of pedestrian injuries along Hastings Street in the Downtown Eastside. The three main components of the project are data collection, education, and community outreach. Running until March 2010, the goals of the project are to increase awareness about the issue of pedestrian safety in the Downtown Eastside and what people can do to improve the situation; to increase our knowledge of the issue; and to engage Downtown Eastside residents in finding long-term solutions.

Volunteers from the community will be out on the street observing and recording driver and pedestrian volumes and behaviours and noting the design of the streets and sidewalks. Pedestrians will also be asked to fill out a survey. Similar information will be collected towards the end of the project for evaluation purposes.

Volunteers will be out on the street and at different locations in the Downtown Eastside. We want to educate people who walk and drive in our neighbourhood about the high number of people getting hit by cars and what they can do to make it safer. We'll be talking to people, handing out information, carrying signs, and other things to get our message out.

We want to hear stories and concerns aout pedestrian safety from the people who live in the Downtown Eastside, as well as their opinions about how to make their community safer. We believe residents know their neighbourhood better than anyone, and will be holding workshops and focus groups to find out what they think. If you see a notice for one of our workshops, come tell us what you think and have your voice heard.


DTES pedestrian hotspot map
The nine pedestrian injury "hotspots" in the Downtown Eastside
as identified in an academic study using data from 2000 to 2005 inclusive.
Click on map to enlarge

A study conducted by researchers at SFU and UBC found that a small strip in the Downtown Eastside was the most dangerous place for pedestrians in Vancouver. Data for the study were obtained for 2000 to 2005 from ICBC and the British Columbia Trauma Registry (BCTR). Some of its findings include:

  • There were 2,358 pedestrians injured citywide in the 6-year period (393 per year).
  • 10% of pedestrian injuries occur in the Downtown Eastside
  • Locations with five or more pedestrian injuries were classified as "hotspots." Of the 32 hotspots in Vancouver, nine (28%) are on Hastings in the Downtown Eastside.
  • The two worst hotspots are East Hastings between Main and Columbia (49 incidents in 6 years) and the intersection of Main and Hastings (18).
  • The study flagged that important pedestrian safety countermeasures are missing in the Downtown Eastside (special crosswalks, signals, curb bulges, etc.)
  • Traumatic pedestrian injuries result from "the interplay of modifiable or preventable environmental factors."

380 East Hastings Street
Tel: 604-683-6061

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