Pedestrian Crossing at Morningside and Ellesmere

At the intersection of Morningside Avenue and Ellesmere Road, traffic zooms by, stopping only to adhere to the traffic lights. On each of the four street corners, groups of pedestrians wait to cross.

Many have one thought on their mind: will they be the next pedestrian to be hit by a car?

Fourteen pedestrians have been killed in deadly collisions around the GTA within the first 25 days of the year. Last year there were only 31 pedestrian fatalities.

“I’m not afraid of crossing the street,” said Cheyenne Ramichrand, 17. “I always look both ways and I don’t jaywalk.”

Ramichrand also points out that she never uses her cellphone or iPod while crossing the street.

But many of the people crossing at the intersection do.

One man had his cellphone to his ear while the ten second countdown of the crosswalk blinked closer to zero. Over a dozen people had earphones in their ears. One man had his volume at such a high level that it would be hard to hear oncoming traffic.

Others like Chris Lawerence, 20, crossed when the crosswalk countdown was close to zero and had to stand on the island in the middle of Ellesmere Road while he waited for a safe moment to continue crossing.

“I was a little nervous, there were two trucks that passed right by me,” Lawerence said.

He admitted he took a dangerous chance but it wasn’t one he usually took.