By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
The review of a pedestrian-controlled crossing of Governor’s Road at Overfield Street in September did not meet the requirements for that traffic control device.
Ron Gallo, the City of Hamilton’s manager of signals and systems, said the study was initiated by the request of one resident. But the counts of pedestrians crossing and review of other factors reached about half the standard for a pedestrian controlled stoplight.
But Gallo does not expect recommended widening of Governor's Road to take place anytime soon.
Renewed attention on pedestrian safety on Governor’s Road between Ogilvie Street and Creighton Road began last Sunday after 87-year-old Kitty MacLeod was killed after being struck by a car while she was crossing Governor’s Road.
Hamilton Police charged a 44-year-old Flamborough man with careless driving, Wednesday.
Concerns about pedestrian safety in that area have been raised for several years.
Gallo said some safety improvements are expected within the next five years as the stretch of road is scheduled for a resurfacing project.
In addition to a redesign of the complicated intersection at Ogilvie and Governor’s to improve sight lines for drivers, staff are considering construction of “pedestrian refuge islands” in three possible Governor’s Road locations – including near the intersection with Over field.
Gallo said the raised islands will allow pedestrians to get half-way across the road at a time, and make them more visible to drivers.
New sidewalks are also expected next year on the south side of Governor’s Road, between Overfield and Creighton, where no sidewalks currently exist.
And Gallo said he does not anticipate the city acting on the Downtown Dundas Transportation Master Plan recommendation to widen Governor’s Road.
“It’s dependent on future need, and that can change,” Gallo said. “It would need another environmental assessment because it’s been five years (since the DDTMP). It’s not as simple as saying it’s approved and it happens.”
But Raynald Marchand, general manager of the Canada Safety Council, viewed the Governor’s Road area using Google Earth – and said he could see a need for pedestrian safety improvements.
He noted it appeared to be a 250 metre walk to the nearest controlled crossing – at Ogilvie – from a bus stop on the north side of Governor’s, across from Overfield.
“That’s only 250, but it’s another 250 back. That’s half a kilometre. I can see people, especially elderly, saying ‘I’m going to cross right here',” Marchand said.
He said the accepted standard wait for a safe opening to cross a street is three minutes.
“In excess of three minutes waiting for an opening, people start to take chances.”
And Marchand said a controlled crossing at Overfield would certainly be warranted if Governor’s Road is widened in that area.
He said there signs that could be placed in the area warning drivers that seniors might be crossing mid-block.
“But that’s not a replacement for putting in crosswalks,” Marchand said.
Although there are no controlled pedestrian crossings of Governor’s between those at Ogilvie and Creighton, there are intersections on the south side of the road at Tally Ho, Avon Drive and Overfield.
There is a bus top at Avon Drive, across from the Dundas Baptist Church, but no official pedestrian crossing.