A Stratford student waits at the Huntingdon Avenue intersection for a safe gap in the traffic to cross Huron Street June 25. Galen Simmons/The Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network
A signalized crossing at the intersection of Huntingdon Avenue and Huron Street could be the only method of reducing the danger for pedestrians – specifically students – trying to cross Huron Street.City councillors voted Monday to send the results of a traffic study conducted on behalf of the city by R.V. Anderson Associates Ltd. to the Ministry of Transportation in support of the city’s request to install traffic signals at Huntingdon and Huron to provide a safer school crossing. Based on the traffic volumes, speeds and patterns recorded during the study, a signalized crossing seems the safest option, the study suggested.“We did some additional traffic counts at intersections in the area and we provided that additional information … and then it confirmed that the gaps (in traffic) weren’t available there (for a safe school crossing),” Stratford’s director of infrastructure and development services, Ed Dujlovic, said. “We also looked at turning movements at the different intersections. They looked at the accident history. They looked at the pedestrian counts.“They were kind of monitoring the growth, and as the growth is happening, they say by 2021 the growth should be such that technically it would support pedestrian signals at Huron and Huntingdon, for the crossing there.”Dujlovic said the traffic study also made it clear that less expensive solutions suggested at council and subcommittee, such as changing the timing of the lights at the Huron Street intersections with Forman Avenue and John Street or reducing the speed on Huron Street to 40 kilometres per hour and doubling speed fines, would do little to increase the number of gaps in traffic to create a safer crossing at Huron and Huntingdon.
A Stratford crossing guard helps a student cross Huron Street at the dangerous Huntingdon Avenue intersection on June 25. Galen Simmons/The Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network
“The numbers don’t show that there’s a speeding problem there. It is high volume, and that’s what the gaps show,” Dujlovic said. “We know there’s a high volume so that it doesn’t give (the crossing guards) enough time go out there and put their signs up.”While this year’s data does not show an increase in the frequency of collisions near Huron an Huntingdon, the city’s traffic consultants concluded a fully signalized intersection, at a cost of roughly $250,000, would be warranted if the number of crashes in the area continued to rise, as has been the case over the past two years.“So far this year the accidents are actually down,” Dujlovic said. “We’re not where we were at over the previous couple of years, so, we’ll keep monitoring that to see what’s going on.”Having sent the traffic study into the ministry, city staff will ultimately meet with their provincial counterparts to discuss Stratford’s request for a pedestrian signal at Huron and Huntingdon, which, if approved, would cost in the area of $150,email@example.com