New crossing offers more protection for cyclists, pedestrians

A person riding a bike presses a button to initiate the signalized crossing at the William Street and Oxford Street intersection. Photo courtesy of the City of London.

Crossing Oxford Street near the downtown just got easier and safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

The City of London has officially opened a new crossing at Oxford and William streets. It features new raised concrete barriers to separate cyclists from drivers, a setback crossing that increases pedestrian visibility, and an easy to reach button to activate the crossing signal.

“The design is one of the first of its kind in Ontario, and it is widely used in other North American cities to improve safety and convenience for people walking and riding bikes,” Daniel Hall, the city’s program manager of active transportation, said in a statement. “Adding a pedestrian and bicycle signal at this intersection better connects the Old North and the Piccadilly area neighbourhoods, helps people reach the London Transit bus stops on both sides of Oxford Street, and makes William Street a more desirable street to bike on.”

Prior to this fall’s construction, cyclists and pedestrians on Oxford had a 700 metre gap to get to an existing signalized crossings at either Colborne Street or Adelaide Street. As an added bonus for cyclists, the activation button has been placed so they do not have to dismount their bike to hit it.

As part of the changes to the crossing, drivers on William can no longer go straight or make a left hand turn onto Oxford. Signage has been placed at the intersection indicating the change. Drivers wanting to get across Oxford are advised to do so via an alternate routes such as Adelaide Street.