Outside a Yellowknife park, a dash across the highway
No solutions for safer highway crossing are currently being considered by the NWT government to help pedestrians access Fred Henne Territorial Park.
According to data from the GNWT, Fred Henne Territorial Park saw a 22-percent increase in overnight visitors from 2020 to 2021 – making its way back to pre-pandemic numbers.
The park was the busiest campground for visitors in the NWT in 2020. As Covid-19 restrictions ease and travel restarts, the park is expected to welcome more tourists from outside the NWT.
At the moment, crossing the highway outside the park – for example, to reach the Bristol monument, walk toward Old Airport Road or use bike trails on the opposite side of the road – requires a dash across the highway between vehicles.
The NWT government says there are no plans to add any form of crossing.
“This project does have the potential to be considered in the future. If it were to proceed, research would be the first step,” a spokesperson for the territory’s Department of Infrastructure told Cabin Radio by email.
“If the need [for safer crossing] was verified, sight lines and road safety would be looked at to determine what is feasible.”
An alternative, according to the GNWT, would be to use temporary solutions like extra signage during specific periods when people might be more likely to cross. A similar system is used on the highway outside Folk on the Rocks each summer.
The department said the last time safety concerns were raised was in 2020, regarding people crossing the highway to access the park’s day-use area.
Children, cyclists and other pedestrians waiting for gaps to cross the busy highway should “observe the rules of the road and remain diligent of highway traffic,” the territory stated.