Crosswalk slated for Cedar Street

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Motorists will soon have another reason to stop in Waterdown.

Pedestrian-controlled traffic signal lights are slated to be built on the corner of Cedar and Hamilton Streets, just north of the town's two downtown plazas.

The lights are one of 17 sets accounted for in the city's 2005 budget. They will be operational by November.

Ward 15 councillor Margaret McCarthy applauds the move. She's been pushing for lights to be installed along that corridor "since I joined Hamilton council," she said.

Studies have confirmed that corner to be the best location, to manage pedestrians from the nearby high school and Allan A. Greenleaf, she said. It will be a pedestrian-controlled signal; the light will stay green unless the button is pushed, and cars approaching from Cedar will have no lights.

"Finally, finally," said McCarthy.

Sue Collins lives on Cedar Street, and is happy about the change. She's hopeful that the lights will make Hamilton St. a safer road to cross, by slowing traffic and giving pedestrians a regulated crosswalk.

"It's not a safe place to cross," she said, noting that she and her husband often take the car to Weeks Home Hardware, just across the road, because crossing on foot is too dangerous.

But her husband, Corrie Giles, is unimpressed by the process. He charges that the former town of Flamborough would have notified each resident by letter of the impending change and schedule of planning meetings on the issue to give residents a chance to offer input.

Sandy Gray, owner of Weeks of Waterdown also has concerns about the new light. She questions the logic of installing lights to control pedestrian traffic, noting that many students cross Hamilton Street at irregular places, and often cross diagonally.

But her main concern is the lack of initial planning, which has made Hamilton Street a dangerous place to drive and cross, lights or no lights. Merchants and motorists have long called for the plazas to align their driveways.

"Then put a stop light up there. That would help the traffic," said Gray. The fact that White Oaks and Cedar don't line up has also caused confusion and frustration for many motorists, she noted. Although she's not suggesting that it be done now, because it would require the expropriation of a large portion of her parking lot, "someone in the planning department should have looked at this and said 'this isn't right'," she said.

But she feels motorists also need to share the blame.

"We need to share the road. We need to be a little more courteous," Gray said. Many drivers find it so difficult to turn onto Hamilton Street, that many scoot to the turning lane, and stop until they get a break in traffic, which is an illegal maneuver.

"The police haven't been enforcing that, thank goodness," she said. "But I've seen people turn out of the plaza, and drive in the turning lane down Hamilton all the way to our store, which is obviously illegal."

The plaza driveways have been a contentious issue for merchants and motorists for years. And it's one McCarthy has worked hard to solve, to no avail, by repeatedly approaching the landowner, Jack Rabba.

"I've pushed, prodded and poked," she said. "It's dangerous. I've told him this."

However, because the driveways are on private property, the city has no jurisdiction to change them.

The Cedar Street pedestrian crossing will be in place this fall. Surveys have been completed, and a consultant's been hired to oversee the projects. A tender will be issued for the underground work, likely in October, with city staff installing the poles and other visible devices.

Crosswalk slated for Cedar Street

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Motorists will soon have another reason to stop in Waterdown.

Pedestrian-controlled traffic signal lights are slated to be built on the corner of Cedar and Hamilton Streets, just north of the town's two downtown plazas.

The lights are one of 17 sets accounted for in the city's 2005 budget. They will be operational by November.

Ward 15 councillor Margaret McCarthy applauds the move. She's been pushing for lights to be installed along that corridor "since I joined Hamilton council," she said.

Studies have confirmed that corner to be the best location, to manage pedestrians from the nearby high school and Allan A. Greenleaf, she said. It will be a pedestrian-controlled signal; the light will stay green unless the button is pushed, and cars approaching from Cedar will have no lights.

"Finally, finally," said McCarthy.

Sue Collins lives on Cedar Street, and is happy about the change. She's hopeful that the lights will make Hamilton St. a safer road to cross, by slowing traffic and giving pedestrians a regulated crosswalk.

"It's not a safe place to cross," she said, noting that she and her husband often take the car to Weeks Home Hardware, just across the road, because crossing on foot is too dangerous.

But her husband, Corrie Giles, is unimpressed by the process. He charges that the former town of Flamborough would have notified each resident by letter of the impending change and schedule of planning meetings on the issue to give residents a chance to offer input.

Sandy Gray, owner of Weeks of Waterdown also has concerns about the new light. She questions the logic of installing lights to control pedestrian traffic, noting that many students cross Hamilton Street at irregular places, and often cross diagonally.

But her main concern is the lack of initial planning, which has made Hamilton Street a dangerous place to drive and cross, lights or no lights. Merchants and motorists have long called for the plazas to align their driveways.

"Then put a stop light up there. That would help the traffic," said Gray. The fact that White Oaks and Cedar don't line up has also caused confusion and frustration for many motorists, she noted. Although she's not suggesting that it be done now, because it would require the expropriation of a large portion of her parking lot, "someone in the planning department should have looked at this and said 'this isn't right'," she said.

But she feels motorists also need to share the blame.

"We need to share the road. We need to be a little more courteous," Gray said. Many drivers find it so difficult to turn onto Hamilton Street, that many scoot to the turning lane, and stop until they get a break in traffic, which is an illegal maneuver.

"The police haven't been enforcing that, thank goodness," she said. "But I've seen people turn out of the plaza, and drive in the turning lane down Hamilton all the way to our store, which is obviously illegal."

The plaza driveways have been a contentious issue for merchants and motorists for years. And it's one McCarthy has worked hard to solve, to no avail, by repeatedly approaching the landowner, Jack Rabba.

"I've pushed, prodded and poked," she said. "It's dangerous. I've told him this."

However, because the driveways are on private property, the city has no jurisdiction to change them.

The Cedar Street pedestrian crossing will be in place this fall. Surveys have been completed, and a consultant's been hired to oversee the projects. A tender will be issued for the underground work, likely in October, with city staff installing the poles and other visible devices.

Crosswalk slated for Cedar Street

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Motorists will soon have another reason to stop in Waterdown.

Pedestrian-controlled traffic signal lights are slated to be built on the corner of Cedar and Hamilton Streets, just north of the town's two downtown plazas.

The lights are one of 17 sets accounted for in the city's 2005 budget. They will be operational by November.

Ward 15 councillor Margaret McCarthy applauds the move. She's been pushing for lights to be installed along that corridor "since I joined Hamilton council," she said.

Studies have confirmed that corner to be the best location, to manage pedestrians from the nearby high school and Allan A. Greenleaf, she said. It will be a pedestrian-controlled signal; the light will stay green unless the button is pushed, and cars approaching from Cedar will have no lights.

"Finally, finally," said McCarthy.

Sue Collins lives on Cedar Street, and is happy about the change. She's hopeful that the lights will make Hamilton St. a safer road to cross, by slowing traffic and giving pedestrians a regulated crosswalk.

"It's not a safe place to cross," she said, noting that she and her husband often take the car to Weeks Home Hardware, just across the road, because crossing on foot is too dangerous.

But her husband, Corrie Giles, is unimpressed by the process. He charges that the former town of Flamborough would have notified each resident by letter of the impending change and schedule of planning meetings on the issue to give residents a chance to offer input.

Sandy Gray, owner of Weeks of Waterdown also has concerns about the new light. She questions the logic of installing lights to control pedestrian traffic, noting that many students cross Hamilton Street at irregular places, and often cross diagonally.

But her main concern is the lack of initial planning, which has made Hamilton Street a dangerous place to drive and cross, lights or no lights. Merchants and motorists have long called for the plazas to align their driveways.

"Then put a stop light up there. That would help the traffic," said Gray. The fact that White Oaks and Cedar don't line up has also caused confusion and frustration for many motorists, she noted. Although she's not suggesting that it be done now, because it would require the expropriation of a large portion of her parking lot, "someone in the planning department should have looked at this and said 'this isn't right'," she said.

But she feels motorists also need to share the blame.

"We need to share the road. We need to be a little more courteous," Gray said. Many drivers find it so difficult to turn onto Hamilton Street, that many scoot to the turning lane, and stop until they get a break in traffic, which is an illegal maneuver.

"The police haven't been enforcing that, thank goodness," she said. "But I've seen people turn out of the plaza, and drive in the turning lane down Hamilton all the way to our store, which is obviously illegal."

The plaza driveways have been a contentious issue for merchants and motorists for years. And it's one McCarthy has worked hard to solve, to no avail, by repeatedly approaching the landowner, Jack Rabba.

"I've pushed, prodded and poked," she said. "It's dangerous. I've told him this."

However, because the driveways are on private property, the city has no jurisdiction to change them.

The Cedar Street pedestrian crossing will be in place this fall. Surveys have been completed, and a consultant's been hired to oversee the projects. A tender will be issued for the underground work, likely in October, with city staff installing the poles and other visible devices.