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Traffic safety concerns in north end neighbourhoods

The city’s community services committee has recommended the installation of a four-way stop at the intersection of Parkridge Drive and Arbourwood Drive. A serious two-vehicle collision took place at the intersection a few weeks ago. (Photo by Colin Williamson)

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

The city’s community services committee is taking steps to improve traffic safety in two north end neighbourhoods.

The first area of concern is on a stretch of Ormond Drive, from Woodmount Crescent to Coldstream Drive (east of Ritson Road).

Two residents of the area, Alan Smith and Ron Bremner presented their concerns to the committee at its latest meeting.

Smith has spoken to the committee on the issue in the past.

Bremner said while the posted speed limit in the area is 50 km/h, motorists usually travel much faster.

“It becomes a drag strip at different times of the day,” Bremner said, adding he has witnessed cars speeding as fast as 100 km/h.

The area includes Kedron Public School and a Chartwell retirement residence, which Bremner says results in many children and seniors at risk by the speeding vehicles.

The area residents are at their wit’s end, according to Bremner, as many reverse into their driveways because they are “terrified” of the thought of backing out onto Ormond Drive.

He says there is more development planned in the area, and it will continue to be a problem.

“There is a huge tsunami coming on Ormond Drive,” he said.

Ward 1 regional councillor John Neal sees the problem only getting worse.

“It has expanded and so is the whole north end, and we are feeling the pressure of speed. We have to reduce the speed.”

The committee unanimously supported a recommendation to council to reduce the speed limit in the area to 40 km/h.

Resident Kevin Fenlon made a request for a four-way stop at the intersection of Parkridge Drive and Arbourwood Drive, located between Grandview Street North and Townline Road North.

The intersection was the scene of a major collision only a few weeks ago, Fenlon said, and there have been multiple crashes over the 16 years he has lived in the area.

Repeating an earlier comment, Fenlon says at times the roadway becomes like a “drag strip” and there are often children playing in the area.

Neal agrees with his request, stating “you cannot get a clear view of what’s going on unless you have that four-way stop.”

He said past instances of accidents at the intersection are bound to be repeated.

“Somebody is going to make a mistake…but it’s going to be worse. It should be done right away,” he said.

Ward 4 regional councillor Rick Kerr wanted city staff to perform an analysis of the intersection, and use data to determine if the four-way stop is needed.

“I’m concerned that we don’t go through due process and allow staff to do the job,” he commented.

Commissioner of community services Ron Diskey stated if there was a need for the four-way stop it would likely already be in place, and a staff recommendation should be based on warranted criteria.

Ward 4 city councillor Derek Giberson said these types of safety concerns may be part of a bigger issue of how subdivisions are being designed – something he believes may need to be addressed sooner than later.

“We almost literally have to go back to the drawing board,” he said.

Neal’s motion to have a four-way stop installed at the intersection was passed, with Giberson and Ward 5 city councillor John Gray also in favour. Kerr and Ward 3 city councillor Bradley Marks were opposed.