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Traffic safety to be improved at arena

Wednesday, 26 January 2011 - 1:57pm

In response to concerns expressed by the public, town council approved a report Monday night to improve pedestrian safety at the Memorial Sports Centre entrances.
The report came from the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, which reviewed the matter and agreed that due to the alignment of Gillon Street, and the fact all users of the Memorial Sports Centre parking lot have to cross Gillon Street to enter the facility, there’s a possibility of an incident involving pedestrians and vehicles.
As such, the committee made the following recommendations:
•Traffic Control Bylaw No. 10/03 will be revised where the entire length of Gillon Street be reduce to 40 km/h from Frenette Avenue to Reid Avenue;
•pedestrian awareness signage and rate of speed reduction signage will be installed this spring once the frost is out of the ground; and
•the cost of the supply and installation of a speed bump be included in the 2011 capital budget.
The amending bylaw will be prepared for passage at a future council meeting.
Also at Monday’s meeting, council supported, in principle, recommendations put forward by the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee regarding the crosswalk for mill employees at Scott Street and Central Avenue and forwarded them to AbitibiBowater for its review and input.
The committee suggested two options to make the crossing more safe:
•remove the crosswalk on the north side of the street, and have mill employees use the crosswalk on the south side of the street where there is a crosswalk signal; or
•have a crosswalk signal installed for the crosswalk on the north side of the street and adjust light timing to ensure pedestrians have the required length of time to cross.
The committee expressed concerns with both options.
The first option would present mill employees who park in the lot on the northeast side of the intersection with a longer walk through two intersections with crosswalk signals.
Both of these crossings are safe, but it is possible some mill employees would follow old habits and continue to cross on the north portion anyway.
The second option would cost considerable money, and would require a change in the timing of the lights at the intersection to provide time for pedestrians to cross with no traffic from the east able to move through the intersection.
This would slow traffic movement and increase stop time for vehicles.
The crosswalk is longstanding issue raised by the mill’s Joint Health and Safety Committee back in September, 2009.

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