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Safe Communities’ crossover proposal under consideration

by Patrick Raftis

MAPLETON - Township council is considering a pedestrian crossover on Wellington Road 11 South at Andrews Drive in Drayton.

The proposal was received by council for information following a presentation by Gregg Davidson, county councillor for Ward 2 (Mapleton), at the May 9 township council meeting.

Davidson attended the meeting to outline a Wellington County Safe Communities proposal to Wellington County and member municipalities that all pedestrian crossovers in the county be changed to the new provincial standard, including crossovers in:

- Alma on Wellington Road 7;

- Moorefield on Wellington Road 10; and

- Drayton at Main and John Streets.

The organization also wants to see school crossings in the county changed to the new pedestrian crossovers.

Many pedestrians incorrectly believe school crossings are safe to use at any time, but Safe Communities is stressing they are only designated crossings when a crossing guard is present. At any other time they are not considered crosswalks.

Pedestrian crossovers, on the other hand, must be respected by motorists at all times.

They include distinctive “ladder” markings painted on the road to indicate where pedestrians should cross and “shark’s teeth” markings to clearly indicate where vehicles should stop.

Councillor Dennis Craven noted “pedestrians don’t seem to pay much attention to what they’re supposed to do,” and wondered,  “Would it also be possible to put a large X or two in advance (of crossovers) ... to make sure that people in vehicles are seeing that there’s an intersection up ahead?”

Mayor Neil Driscoll explained the county is “trying to conform to what the MTO (Ministry of Transportation Ontario) standard is. What Gregg and I have been told  is sometimes these Xs ahead of crosswalks, for example, are not within MTO code, so there’s no enforcement there.”

Driscoll added, “I really like Gregg’s committee, the way they’re coming at this saying, ‘Wellington County let’s have one standard, let’s educate the people once and give them one crossover that works for everyone.’”

Driscoll noted lack of consistency in crossover design makes it difficult to educate the public.

“Listowel has green checkers across the road, which conforms to no law … how can we train our residents to recognize one set of markings … and then you go to Listowel and you see the St. Patrick’s Day crossover?”

Driscoll said council should try and look at the issue ahead of the 2018 budget.

However, he noted, “If there’s community leaders out there willing to contribute the $5,000 to $8,000 per signal we’d be more than willing to look at that too, I’m sure.”

On the subject of the Wellington Road 11 and Andrews Drive intersection, Davidson noted the proximity of a school, medical centre, library, grocery store, seniors residence and shopping plaza.

Although the intersection doesn’t meet the standard for a crosswalk under the province’s traffic count system, Davidson said in his opinion “not every decision” needs to be made based only on such criteria.

Davidson also pointed out “there’s been a lot of chatter on Mapleton What’s Happening” (an unofficial Facebook site used by local residents) regarding traffic in the area.

He explained that if the municipality installs a crossover, the county will take on future maintenance of markings.

“If you put in lights (lighted signs) it will be around $5,000. If you just put in regular signs it would be a lot less.”

Driscoll thanked Davidson for bringing the information, including citizen concerns, to council’s attention.

However, he stressed, “We haven’t got those concerns in emails to council. Personally, I’m not answering to Facebook. I’d like to have people reach out to council so we can get staff to look into it.”

Council received the presentation and recommendations as information.

May 19, 2017

 
 

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