Council looking at pedestrian crosswalk for Georgian students

May 21, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

Orangeville Council has asked staff to look into the feasibility of installing a pedestrian crosswalk by the Georgian College campus on Centennial Road. 

Discussed last Monday (May 11), the decision was borne out of a request from Georgian College officials who have become increasingly concerned for the safety of students who have to cross what is one of Orangeville’s busiest thoroughfares. 

“There is a need for a crosswalk at Centennial Road that goes across to Lackey Drive. Over the past number of years, we have heard several concerns from staff and students that traffic on Centennial makes it difficult for them to cross the road safely,” said Shawn Watkins, representing the post-secondary institution. “Then, in the winter, when the snow mounds build up at Lackey Drive, it really impedes people looking to cross the road.”

Coun. Lisa Post wondered if it would be appropriate to install a crosswalk similar to the one constructed at Westside Secondary School, at the intersection of Alder Street and Montgomery Boulevard, in 2017. 

Doug Jones, Orangeville’s General Manager of Infrastructure Services, indicated the Town has a policy in place regarding the installation of new pedestrian crosswalks that could guide Council in this matter.

“We would collect data at the location the crosswalk has been requested – traffic counts, pedestrian counts and things of that sort, and they would then be assessed in the context of the Ontario Traffic Manual to determine whether a pedestrian crosswalk is warranted,” Mr. Jones said.

He added, “Obviously, right now is not a good time to collect traffic or pedestrian data. This is the sort of thing we would have to do when Georgian College is reopened, and it’s business as usual for all the businesses along Centennial Road.”

He went on to estimate that installation of a crosswalk along Centennial would set the Town back between $3,000 and $25,000, depending on what type of crosswalk Council would like installed. 

“When the Ontario Traffic Manual was revised in 2015, it got rid of the older style of crosswalks. Pedestrian crosswalks have different styles now.”  A crosswalk along Centennial Road “may not be as significant as the one installed by Westside, in part due to the width of the road,” Mr. Jones said. “At  Westside, there are three lanes of traffic, whereas along Centennial there are only two lanes. Until such a time as analysis can be done, we don’t know what type of crosswalk would be installed on Centennial Road. 

Mr. Watkins said, based on the concerns expressed to him by the leadership team at Georgian College, the hope is that Council would consider installing a crosswalk similar to the one beside Westside, with overhead lights as well as road markings. 

“Because of the closing of (Humber College), we’re anticipating we’re going to double the student capacity at the Orangeville campus starting in September,” Mr. Watkins said. “We want to make sure our students are safe (when accessing the campus).”

Mayor Sandy Brown assured Mr. Watkins that municipal staff would look into this in more depth and carry out a study of the area to determine if a crosswalk is required.

“It’s going to be several months, but we will get back to you,” Mayor Brown remarked.


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