'Dangerous' Sydney intersection to be studied

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'Dangerous' Sydney intersection to be studied

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has launched a traffic study on a busy Sydney intersection.

Police say there have been several car-pedestrian accidents and one fatality at the corner of Prince and Inglis streets.  

The two-way stop is near the Acadian school Étoile de l'Acadie, the Kiwanis Pool, the Steelworkers and Sydney Pensioners Club and the Sydney Shopping Centre, as well as other businesses. 

"Our major concern is drivers who don't yield to pedestrians when they're crossing," said Sgt. Joe Farrell, head of the Cape Breton Regional Police traffic division.

5 lanes of traffic

There are no traffic lights at the intersection, which falls within a school zone. Farrell said even with a crossing guard, it can be difficult to cross.

"You're crossing five lanes of traffic: two east, two west plus you have a turning lane," he said. "It is a high-volume area and it is quite dangerous at times." 

Ray Paruch, councillor for the area, said traffic has only increased in recent years as new businesses and the pensioners club have moved in.

Nearby resident Sylvia Burrow said she walks with her daughter every day to the school on Prince Street. Even the crossing guard has had a few close calls with cars, she said.

"Over the last couple of years, I've noticed more and more drivers not stopping, not slowing down. So combined with the fast driving, drivers not stopping, it's become quite a dangerous crosswalk," said Burrow, who's taken up a petition for the city to install traffic lights. 

Petition for stop light

There hasn't been an increase in accidents at the intersection since the last traffic review in 2012, but Farrell said the statistics don't reflect "the number of near misses that happen on a nearly weekly or daily basis."

He said the traffic safety unit met with the municipality's engineering department and came away with a plan to study the intersection, which includes daily monitoring of traffic and pedestrian crossings.  

Additional lights have already been added to make the caution lights at the crosswalk more visible, he said. 

Farrell expects the traffic report to be completed by early May.