Council to look at pedestrian tunnel safety concerns in Saskatoon
SASKATOON -- City Council will consider an upcoming report on safety in pedestrian tunnels, Mayor Charlie Clark says.
“If we need to make investments in those areas, it’s valuable to know if there are some areas that are worse than others, just to prioritize that and to be able to identify where we could have the most impact,” Clark said after Thursday’s Board of Police Commissioners meeting.
During the meeting, commissioners heard the issue of safety concerns around pedestrian tunnels was not new, as the city did a report on the topic in 2005. Clark said he is planning on taking a look through the recommendations made at the time.
A new report from the Saskatoon Police Service says not enough data is available to determine a link between pedestrian tunnels and crime.
It looked at how often the tunnels are used and when. It also looked at five years of crime and disorder analysis.
The research found 80 calls and general occurrence reports involving pedestrian underpasses. However, the report says there was not enough information to make a connection between crime in the surrounding area of the neighbourhood and tunnels.
“There is no way to determine whether or not the pedestrian underpasses are contributing to crime in the greater neighbourhood away from the underpass access points,” the report reads. “However, it should also be stated that there is no evidence to indicate that existing crime is not connected to the underpasses.”
Police Chief Troy Cooper says while there may not be enough information to propose a recommendation, it doesn’t mean the concerns of residents are not valid.
“This is something that the neighbourhood feels very strongly about. It’s important and we think the City should take a look at it.”