Hamilton City Hall
By Kevin Werner, HCN
New pedestrian crossovers will be rolled out in neighbourhoods across the city this year.
Mountain Brow Boulevard and Limeridge Road, and Limeridge Road and west of Mountain Brow Boulevard all on Hamilton Mountain will be the first to get the new crossovers, which will include a pedestrian ramp built under the province’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, sometime in 2016.
Public works staff will install an additional three crossovers, after getting approval from the Aug. 11 public works committee, at Locke Street and Stanley Avenue, Queen Street and Herkimer Street and Hollybush Drive west of Pentland Road in Waterdown.
Councillors were expected to approve the recommendation at the Aug. 12 council meeting.
“The Hollybush crosswalk at the trail was first discussed at one of the many traffic calming community meetings I held over the past couple of years,” noted Ward 15 councillor Judi Partridge via email, adding that several crossings throughout the ward have been identified for additional safety measures.
The pedestrian crossovers, introduced by the province under the Highway Traffic Act this year, have a defined set of roadside signs and distinctive pavement markings. In some locations, the crossovers will have flashing beacons.
The cost to install a crossover ranges from $15,000 to $30,000, which includes building the signs, and pavement markings.
Martin White, manager of traffic operations, said the city will install five crossovers initially because he is concerned about how drivers will react to the new crossovers. “You’re forcing people to drive in a different fashion,” he said, noting the province failed to properly prepare the public when it introduced the crossovers and municipalities must educate motorists about them.
Crossovers are different than crosswalks, which are typically marked by a stop sign or traffic light. At a crosswalk, a motorist can still turn right on a red light (if allowed) or wait until a pedestrian has passed the vehicle, and then proceed if it is safe to do so. Drivers are required to stop at a crossover and wait until pedestrians have stepped completely off the road before driving through the intersection. Fines could cost motorists up to $500 and three demerit points.
In 2017, the city will be installing crossovers at 14 additional sites and another 200 locations are being considered, said White. He expects to install up to 30 crossovers a year, depending upon the resources available.
Partridge said the next Waterdown crossover to be installed, in 2017, will be on Hamilton Street North, across from the Legion. “This crosswalk is especially important for our senior population and residents with mobility issues living on John Street,” she noted, adding that Dundas Street at Berryhill and Perelli has also been identified as a site where there are pedestrian safety concerns.
with files from Brenda Jefferies
er is a Regional Reporter for Hamilton Community News (Ancaster News, Dundas Star News, Mountain News and Stoney Creek News). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org