City Council will be considering a new crosswalk policy at Monday’s meeting that aims to standardize the criteria for custom paintings and improve the application process.
The Department of Public Works receives 10-15 requests every year to paint various crosswalks throughout the City, but does not have any formal plan in place for approving and regulating them.
City of Prince Albert Transportation and Traffic Manager Evan Hastings wrote in a report that the lack of standard policy has led to inconsistency in what requests are approved or denied, creating confusion for applicants and extra administrative time to work out details. Oftentimes City traffic accommodation has been provided in-kind for these requests, which takes employees away from their normal duties with no compensation. The report is included in Monday’s agenda package.
The proposed policy is intended to maintain consistent design standards, methodology and procedure for adding, removing, relocating or selecting treatments for marked pedestrian crosswalks. The standardization intends to increase local knowledge and ensure that best practices are followed consistently throughout the City.
A standard process for the crosswalk policy was developed using the Transportation Association of Canada: Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide. This process considers information like roadway geometry, pedestrian sightlines, pedestrian count, vehicle count, lane widths and active transportation connectivity.
The proposed policy recommends that all approved crosswalk art be white in colour, in accordance with the Transportation Association of Canada: Manual of Uniform Traffic Devices for Canada. Currently, requests are made to paint crosswalks in many different colours. This creates problems such as distracting motorists and confusion when colours like orange (construction), yellow (warning), and red (stop) are used.
Other suggested criteria include no custom crosswalk painting over arterial streets, all traffic paint, stencils and labour to perform the painting must be provided by the applicant, and custom painting requests will only be considered at existing marked pedestrian crossings.
City performed traffic accommodation will also be required to ensure safety while painting. All equipment, material and labour to perform this request will be invoiced to the applicant at a reduced flat rate of $200.
In the past, the average cost to perform this accommodation was over $460. However, since these crosswalks are largely painted by non-profit organizations, a reduced flat rate for any approved custom painted crosswalks was recommended.
The new policy will require applications to submit their requests by June 30 to allow administration adequate time to process the request.
If the Crosswalk Policy is accepted by Council on Monday, it will be published on the City’s website. Interest groups who request painted crosswalks in support of their motion will also be notified of the policy at that time.
Bailey Sutherland, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald