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Crosswalk flags hung up in bureaucratic limbo

Norm Collins has a stack of traffic flags piled up in his basement. Hewants to put them back on Waverley Road crosswalks in Dartmouth to helppeople cross the street.But despite government officials at all levels saying they’re OK with it, Collins can’t use them.

Norm Collins has a stack of traffic flags piled up in his basement. He wants to put them back on Waverley Road crosswalks in Dartmouth to help people cross the street. But despite government officials at all levels saying they’re OK with it, Collins can’t use them.

That's because neither the province nor the Halifax Regional Municpality will officially sanction the project because they say it’s not their jurisdiction.

“It’s just so frustrating that all elected officials have been unequivocally supportive of the program,” Collins said. “Through this bureaucracy we’re sitting here with no flags. That makes no sense to us.”

Community members like Collins raised money to put up the orange, fluorescent flags for a one year pilot project that ended this summer. They asked if they could put them up permanently and Halifax Regional Council was receptive.

That’s where things hit a snag. Halifax Traffic Authority head Ken Reashor decided the flags couldn’t be OK’d because they weren’t on a list of provincially-approved traffic devices. Even though there’s no language preventing the signs, Reashor decided the province would need to officially sign off.

Transportation Minister Bill Estabrooks said he likes the flags and supports the project. But he said it’s a municipal road and his government has no role in the decision.

Liberal MLA and former city councillor Andrew Younger yesterday proposed a bill to officially acknowledge the flags. But Estabrooks reiterated the issue is HRM’s responsibility. Meanwhile, Mayor Peter Kelly said he is still waiting on the province for the issue.

Both sides have expressed concerns over liability, which may explain the hesitation to rubber stamp the flags.

“Honestly, we don’t care where the authority lies or doesn’t lie, we just want somebody to stop passing it back and forth and make a decision,” Collins said.

 
 
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