Certain stop signs voted down

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The road leading to Monday’s decision to install four stop signs in Creemore has been a twisted one, leaving everyone involved a little lost at times.

Elizabeth Street East resident Doug Mills told councillors he was surprised the issue was back on the table because he thought it had been dealt with. Mills is a member of a group of concerned citizens petitioning council for safer streets for pedestrians by way of stop signs and community safety zones.

“As far as I know council has already approved the signage so please, let’s get on with it,” Mills told council Monday.

Council had approved the installation of eight stop signs to create four-way stops at the intersections of Mary and George, Mary and Edward Street East, Library and Elizabeth and a three-way stop at Mary and Francis but when it came time to pass the bylaw, Councillor Thom Paterson asked council to hold off, insisting staff weigh in on the issue before a final decision was made.

Clearview’s general manager of transportation and drainage Gerry LeMay came back with a report opposing the use of stop signs as a traffic calming measure.

“Traffic is best controlled by enforcement. Stop signs are not intended as speed control devices, and their usage should therefore be limited to the control of right of way conflicts. Stop signs should be used where traffic engineering studies indicate that the usage of such signs is warranted. Multi-way stop signs generally follow warrants of 200 vehicles per hour in an eight-hour period…” reported LeMay. “In saying this council has the right to request and have placed stop signs and community safety zone signs where they feel they are required.”

The stop signs at the corner of Mary and Edward did not make it through the final round of voting and neither did those at the corner of Elizabeth and Mary. The latter was because new information was presented about the cost.

“To correctly position the stop sign we should place a curb out to the area in question, allowing the stop sign to be 0.5 metres from the travelled portion of the roadway,” reported LeMay. “In doing this the estimated cost would be approximately $10,000 to $15,000. In placing in the curb to accommodate the stop sign we would lose one of the parking spaces on Elizabeth Street for the east bound traffic. To simply place the stop sign at the edge of the travelled portion of Elizabeth Street for the eastbound traffic we would place ourselves in a very vulnerable position as we would have an item in what appears to be the travelled portion of the roadway or the middle of the roadway.”

“These people who have put the petitions together, they know. They live in this area,” said Deputy Mayor Barry Burton. “Even if the cost is $10,000 to $15,000, it’s a small price to pay for pedestrian safety.”

Paterson said he would rather see sidewalks on George Street.

“I want to put in pedestrian safety measures that actually work,” he said.

“We have so many projects on the go,” said Mayor Christopher Vanderkruys. “I can’t see sidewalks there in the next year or even the year after. I don’t know why we are trying to deviate from the original plan.”

Sidewalks are planned for Mary Street as part of the Alliance Homes development.

Council also considered community safety zones previously approved for Mill Street and George Street before discussion about the words ‘slow down’ being painted on the pavement at three entranceways to the village, before it came out that the painting had already been done.

Councillor Shawn Davidson found support for his motion to add a community safety zone, doubling fines for speeding, on Edward Street East at Gowan Park and one that would disallow any words being painted on the pavement on the main street of Creemore.

Davidson asked, “Do you really want to see a picture of one of the top 10 communities in Ontario with the words slow down written on the road?”

LeMay said in the end, his data shows that three- to four per cent of drivers in the area in question are speeding and during a recent OPP blitz, nine people were stopped for speeding.

“Our data is pretty good but I hate to add fuel to the fire,” said LeMay.

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