Midland petition seeks more time for pedestrian crosswalks

A safety request for longer crossing times on Midland roads will be on the agenda for the new council.

Council received a petition from Midland resident Kathy Demers on behalf of 134 signatories who were asking for an extension on timing at pedestrian crosswalks in town.

“The times at all of the stations and the crosswalk,” began the written petition, “they are at 15 seconds now, but it’s not enough time to cross the street.

“We would like the times for all the stations to be increased from 15 seconds to 35 seconds,” stated the request, noting concern for safety at the locations.

Coun. Jonathan Main raised a question for staff to contact the resident as it was unsure which of the town’s many crosswalks had been noted in the petition.

Environment and Infrastructure director Andy Campbell remarked that staff would look at setting modifications, although there would be a cost associated.

“Right now, we time all our crosswalks at one metre-per-second for the pedestrian walking; that’s on the low end of what the standard is,” Campbell explained. “Some municipalities are looking at 0.8 metres-per-second for a crossing time.

“To reprogram all our traffic signals just on King Street from Yonge Street down to Bayshore Drive, it would cost about $5,000 to re-time those.”

Coun. Carole McGinn also asked that the issue be brought to the accessibility advisory committee for input, noting that the town would need to reach Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) compliance by 2025.

The petition was brought to Midland council at the final regular meeting for the term, with many of the upcoming council members attending within the chambers.

Deputy Mayor Mike Ross quipped that the new council would have things to do as soon as they start.

“You guys will be off and running with work already,” said Ross to the council-elect.

The 134-signature crosswalk timing petition is available within the council agenda page on the Town of Midland website.

Council meetings are held every third Wednesday, and can be attended in person or virtually through Zoom by contacting the clerk’s department of Midland town hall for a link to the meeting.

Council meetings can also be viewed on Rogers TV cable channel 53, or through the livestream on the Rogers TV website. Archives of council meetings are available through Rogers TV and on the Town of Midland’s YouTube channel.

Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca