Three new pedestrian crossings sought for Wellington North

WELLINGTON NORTH — Council has approached the Ministry of Transportation about installing three new pedestrian crossings in the township.

The pedestrian crossings systems are intended for Smith Street and Conestoga Street in Arthur, Main Street North and Durham Street West as well as Queen Street East and Fergus Street South in Mount Forest.

The intersection of Main Street South and King Street East, Mount Forest was considered but did not have sufficient traffic or the type of traffic to necessitate a pedestrian crossing system. So staff are to look into an alternative crossing system at that spot.

The design and installation of the crossings is estimated at $120,000 per crossing.

Coun. Steve McCabe was struck by the cost of putting the infrastructure in at each crossing.

“So it’s a 120,000 per crosswalk, so about a half million dollars for these four, and is each one gonna cost that much actually, and what do we get for that 120,000?” McCabe said.

Director of operations, Matthew Aston explained that there may be a reduction in costs for the infrastructure.

“So Queen Street East at Fergus or Parkside and Smith Street at Conestoga, we’ve installed the piping, so we have pipes underground there,” Aston said.

“So they will probably not be 110 or 120,000. They will be cheaper than that. But it’s still yet to be determined as far as how much each specific location is going to be,” Aston said.

Coun. Penny Renken brought up the contradictory issue of an accident having happened at the intersection that is not currently moving forward to the MTO, King and Main in Mount Forest.

“I was wondering if any consideration was given to the fact that several years ago there was a serious accident with a pedestrian being struck at that location,” Renken said.

Renken emphasized that people often do not cross that street at the safer location.

“I know it’s in the middle, there’s a light, a block below and a light a block above but you’re not going to find your pedestrians going to those lights to cross safely,” Renken said.

Maybe the corner will not get the same setup as the other intersections. But Renken suggests it should get something.

“And so I was just wondering if there is any possibility of having something there,” Renken said.

Coun. Sherry Burke has concerns with how people cross around King and Main and the possibility of someone getting hurt there.

“You’re right Penny, that a lot of folks, particularly seniors, aren’t going to go to the lights. They’re going to go to the most convenient place for them to cross. And I don’t believe that that corner is safe,” Burke said.

Due to the interest in something being installed at the King and Main location, mayor Andy Lennox suggested staff be instructed to look into some kind of crossing infrastructure at that intersection.

“I’m hearing a lot of interest in more information on the fourth location, at King and Main. I think the initial analysis says it isn’t justified at the same level,” mayor Andy Lennox said.

“But perhaps we could ask staff to come back and talk about what level would be warranted and what other treatments could be created at that location to alleviate some of the concern,” Lennox said.

Jesse Gault is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

Jesse Gault, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com