Is it a Crosswalk or a Speed Hump?

Speed HumpA reader observes "I was crossing West Mall at UBC over a speed hump towards the bus stop. A car was driving on West Mall and did not stop. When I showed the driver the white arrows on the pavement, he said that these were speed hump marks, not a crosswalk. I recognize that I might have been wrong assuming it was a pedestrian crosswalk, but then I started thinking, who should have the right of way?"

Properly marked crosswalks in British Columbia consist of either two parallel lines extending across the road from curb to curb at a signalized intersection or elsewhere by a zebra crossing. A zebra crossing is a series of rectangles with the long sides parallel to the road edges marking the path for pedestrians to cross. Examples of both are found in the Pedestrian Crossing Manual for British Columbia.

Speed humps, different from the speed bumps usually found in parking lots, are not yet common in this province. They are traffic calming devices intended to slow vehicle speeds and help make neighbourhoods more livable for all road users. Arrowheads are painted on the approach side of the hump indicating the direction of travel and making them more visible to drivers.

Right of way generally belongs to the driver outside of crosswalks. Pedestrians must yield or may be forbidden to cross outside of a crosswalk by a municipal bylaw. If a crosswalk is present, marked or unmarked, right of way belongs to the pedestrian. The only condition is that the pedestrian must not move in front of a vehicle when a driver would be unable to yield to them.

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Speed Humps, Crosswalks ... or maybe 'Crosshumps' ?

For sure, the speed hump in the photo is just that - although it's at a weird location, to my mind, appearing to be an extension of the sidewalk from the right in the manner of many crosswalks.  At a place where pedestrians might be expected to cross the road, in fact.  And what about those grassy areas on each side of the road?  When you read 'Definitions' of both crosswalk and sidewalk under Section 119 of the Motor Vehicle act there could arguably be some ambiguity, methinks.

It's interesting to get on Google Earth Street View, and cruise along West Boulevard; you'll see properly marked crosswalks that are not speed humps, and properly marked speed humps that are not crosswalks.  But at more than one location on your drive you'll come across what I'm terming 'Crosshumps', such as at the 4-Way Stop intersection at the end of the 2000 block.

The City of North Vancouver Traffic Engineer is just nuts about 'Crosshumps' and uses them effectively in many locations, often in conjunction with pedestrian bulges.  (I haven't been able to figure out how to paste pictures into a post here, but I'm hoping our esteemed site administrator will edit them in as appropriate.)

And one place where I think the existing speed humps could, and should, be turned into 'Crosshumps' is on the ferry ramps such as at Horseshoe Bay in the holding areas; this could improve pedestrian safety considerably, to my mind.



Images cost storage and bandwidth so I have not enabled adding images to posts here. What I am hoping people will do is use Google Street View links or something similar to illustrate a point.

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