By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter
A new three-way stop is coming to Celina and Bruce streets in downtown Oshawa.
Council recently approved the intersection for a southbound stop sign and pedestrian paint markings.
While the majority of Oshawa city councillors were on board with this change, noting the benefit it will bring to pedestrians, Councillor John Gray says he’s concerned about the possible delays and backup the new stop would cause to vehicle traffic.
“I think it’s actually going to delay traffic even worse and muddle up pedestrian traffic to boot,” says Gray.
He notes while it’s typical for traffic issues to be around events at centres such as the Tribute Communities Centre, the fact traffic is able to “flow right through” on Celina means Oshawa doesn’t see these backlogs.
Gray says a stop-sign at this intersection would cause “more problems than a solution,” will bind traffic as well as pedestrians.
“If it becomes a three-way, you’re going to have traffic coming off of Simcoe Street to come over to the parking lots and they’re going to have to stop. There will be a sequencing of cars,” he explains. “I can see it 20 minutes before a game getting really busy with a lot of backup.”
However, Councillor Derek Giberson says many community members have shared they don’t feel comfortable crossing the road at this intersection.
“They feel unsafe and we need to start listening to them,” he says. “We can’t always give privilege to vehicular traffic.
Counillor Jane Hurst agreed with Giberson, saying pedestrian safety should be the most important thing and with more residential development in the downtown core and more people living in the area, residents “deserve to have a safe experience crossing the streets.”
“Pedestrian safety is something I will never compromise on,” says Hurst. “The cars can wait.”