One Collingwood councillor wants the town to install a stop sign at a tree street intersection despite a staff report stating data collected at the site didn’t reveal a need for extra signs.
Councillor Yvonne Hamlin said “one accident is too many” and noted the staff report on the intersection at Third and Cedar Streets indicated there had been three collisions there this year.
“Anecdotally we’ve heard residents see a lot of accidents there,” said Hamlin, referring to public comments stating some accidents go unreported as do the near misses. “I believe them. I don’t think they’re making this up … I think we should be putting stop signs there.”
The town has received “several requests” 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.
Instead, staff suggested council could move up the schedule for road improvements on Third Street slated for 2028 and estimated at $3-million. The upgrades include installing bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of Third Street from High Street to Birch Street.
Staff also said council could consider an interim solution of installing sidewalks on the north side of Third Street from Cedar to at least Spruce Street where there is a crossing guard and a four-way stop.
A few residents of the area attended the Development and Operations Committee meeting last night (Sept. 23) to address the staff report and petition again for a four-way stop.
David Craig reminded council that Cedar Street is the most direct access in the area to Harbourview Park, and that means people going to the park have to cross at Third and Cedar where traffic currently does not have to stop on Third Street.
He also said the guidelines surrounding four-way stops show they are good ways to prevent collisions.
“A four-way stop at Third and Cedar will establish a routine of stopping at every other intersection on Third Street resulting in a traffic rhythm,” he said.
David Ohrling reiterated Cedar Street is a “natural corridor” to Harbourview Park.
He said a note included in the staff report about the collisions at the intersection largely being the result of cars failing to obey stop signs and installing more stop signs might exasperate the problem left the impression the town was viewing stop signs as a “nuisance.”
He said the language prioritized car movement instead of pedestrian safety.
“I hope the committee will view that statement with a grain of salt,” said Ohrling, encouraging the committee to make the intersection safe for cyclists and pedestrians.
Elizabeth Wetzel said there are lots of near-misses at the intersection - she lives near it - and a few weeks ago the stop sign on Cedar Street was knocked down by a car.
“Some cars are just ending up on the sidewalks, which is terrifying,” she said.
She told the committee there is a bus stop at the intersection, and because there’s no sidewalk on the north side of Third Street from Cedar to High Street, people are forced to cross at the two-way stop intersection. She worries for the safety of her children, 8 and 11 years old, who cross at the intersection.
“I urge you all to do the right thing for the safety of our neighbourhood,” she said.
The committee voted in favour of the staff recommendation not to install a four-way stop at the intersection. Full council will vote on the matter at its meeting Sept. 30.
At the end of the Development and Operations Standing Committee meeting on Sept. 23, the committee further discussed how it could have staff present further details on moving up the improvements planned for Third Street in 2028.
Chief Administrative Officer Fareed Amin said he could guarantee the Third Street upgrades would be part of 2020 budget discussions as one of several capital improvements in Collingwood. At that time, council can look at several projects and how they should be prioritized.