A four-way stop will not be going in at Third and Cedar streets despite public outcry from neighbours, however town staff will still be working to find alternate solutions to keep pedestrians safer and traffic calmer at the controversial intersection.
The town has received several requests over the past few months for a four-way stop at Cedar and Third Streets. However, according to a staff report, the traffic volumes, collision, and pedestrian traffic in the area don’t meet the standards necessitating a four-way stop.
You can read more details on the staff report and data collected here.
During the council meeting on Monday, director of public works Brian MacDonald told council that staff had taken other tacks toward improving the situation at the intersection, such as requesting a hedge be removed on one property to improve sightlines and adding stop bar painting.
“It’s not normally our practice to paint every stop bar in the community, but given the circumstances with this particular intersection, we will include this as part of our stop bar painting program,” said MacDonald.
He also said staff will investigate the possibility of adding a crosswalk, and if it is warranted the option would be included as part of the 2020 budget deliberations.
“I’m very happy to hear about the additional work that’s been undertaken to deal with this issue over the past week to advance this file and respond to the concerns of the neighbours,” said Coun. Deb Doherty.
Doherty requested council members that sit on the Police Services Board bring speeding concerns up at that table to see if police could help by monitoring the intersection more closely.
Coun. Yvonne Hamlin and Coun. Tina Comi both shared their concerns with not adding the additional stop signs to the intersection.
“I’m so concerned about this issue,” said Hamlin. “I hear from the residents who live there that there is an inordinate amount of near-misses and collisions that occur that aren’t reported. They’re probably not reported because no one’s hurt.”
“Unless we get these (accidents) documented, I certainly understand staff’s position of, how do we prove these collisions are occurring?” she said. “Are we supposed to wait until there are 6,000 cars a day there and there are serious collisions before we take something like that into account?”
Comi brought some research she had completed on her own, outlining statistics related to pedestrian deaths.
“We should respect and prioritize the right and safety of our pedestrians, particularly our children, over – to quote what out Stop Sign fact sheet says – delays to drivers,” said Comi, adding that a low-cost solution would be to put in a temporary stop sign until the Third Street urbanization is approved and completed.
Mayor Brian Saunderson brought up the option of adding a crossing guard to the area.
“Community safety is a huge priority around this table,” said Saunderson. “This is not a decision of car versus pedestrian. This is a decision that is governed by proper traffic management. This is largely a responsibility of the public and the drivers.”
Council voted to not approve the four-way stop at Cedar and Third Streets, with Hamlin and Comi opposed.