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Making neighbourhoods safer for pedestrians

All-way stops coming to Hillcroft and Masson, Ormond and Naples

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter

The intersection of Hillcroft and Masson streets is getting a new all-way stop thanks to the advocacy of a nine-year-old who cares about the safety of the kids in his neighbourhood.

Council approved the recommendation at its most recent council meeting.

“I’m really excited to have a stop sign installed and I’m glad you took the safety of kids in my neighbourhood seriously,” says Noah Powell, who reached out to the city about his concerns.

Noah’s mom, Jennifer, says she is “grateful” the committee put forward the recommendation for the all-way stop and for considering all factors that will keep children safe.

“[Noah] had a multitude of reasons as to why he wanted the stop sign to be implemented and we’re just so grateful that our children’s safety was taken into account,” she says, noting Noah joined her for the address at council because she wanted him to continue to be involved in the process.

“We think it’s so amazing that we’ve given him the ability to see that people do have a voice no matter how small that voice may be. And as they grow, by doing things like this, we are creating advocates for the next generation of students and children, which I think will go very well for our city in the future,” she says.

In addition to the all-way stop, a ‘No Parking Anytime’ restriction will be implemented on the west side of Masson Street from Hillcroft Street to a point 20 metres south of Hillcroft, as well as on the south side of Hillcroft Street from a point 18 metres east of Masson Street to Mary Street and the speed limit on Hillcroft in the noted area will be reduced to 40 km/h.

Council approved the new all-way stop despite an original recommendation from staff to not implement the new stop sign.

According to a city report, there were zero collisions at the intersection during a three-year study period and there was not enough traffic flow to warrant the need.

At a recent community services committee meeting, Councillor Brian Nicholson stated not implementing a stop sign will only increase the speed of traffic.

“If you take away the parking and the vehicles, all you’re going to do is increase the speed of vehicles in the neighbourhood,” he says. “If you don’t put in the requested all-way stop then you’ll be in a situation where you’re going to have faster traffic without a barrier to slow the traffic down.”

He notes there are 30-plus children travelling back and forth to school at this intersection on a regular basis, in addition to the regular residential traffic.

“Reducing the limit is step one, but it only works if you have the all-way control to force people to slow down and to stop at that intersection,” Nicholson continues.

“As we go across the city, we have to have some consistency to try and deal with the speed issues,” he says. “I believe all-way stops are an effective tool.”

Noting the elementary school in the area, Councillor Rick Kerr says there’s lots of families in the area with small children.

“If there was an all-way stop, the children could cross with their parents, larger siblings or other schoolmates a lot more safely,” he says.

The Community Services Committee voted down the original recommendation from staff and Kerr brought a motion forward to have the all-way stop implemented. The vote was unanimous.

An all-way stop is also coming to the intersection of Ormond Drive and Naples Street, including a pedestrian crossing on the south and west leg of the intersection.

Furthermore, a “No Parking Anytime” restriction will be installed on the north side of Ormond Drive from a point 45 metres west of Naples Street to Everglades Drive.

The all-way stop is warranted due to a “potential sightline obstruction,” according to a city report, which states the sightline is obstructed when vehicles park within the curve on the north side of the roadway, or on the driveway apron of properties on the north side of the curve.

“Therefore, northbound vehicles on Naples Street departing onto Ormond Drive do not have an adequate view of vehicles traveling eastbound around the curve on Ormond Drive due to parked vehicles,” the report reads.

The estimated cost to implement an all-way stop, including a pedestrian crosswalk, as well as signage, is approximately $27,000, which will be funded through the Transportation reserve.