Crosswalk to be installed on Alder St. beside Westside Secondary School

December 1, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Orangeville Council has taken steps to increase pedestrian safety along a busy stretch of Alder Street beside Westside Secondary School, approving the installation of a $25,000 crosswalk at Monday night’s council meeting.

The move follows hot on the heels of yet another incident in the area, which saw a 15-year-old girl struck by a pickup truck while crossing Alder Street at the intersection of Montgomery Boulevard three weeks ago. The teen suffered a severe concussion and several minor injuries and her father, Greg Hollywood, was at council to ask what it would take for the Town to “wake up” and address what has become a significant issue.

“Right now we have 900 students in Orangeville that attend Westside Secondary School and another 300 that go to Montgomery Village Public School… A lot (of those kids) have to cross the road on a daily basis. Will it take the death of one of these students for this issue to be rectified?” Mr. Hollywood said. “If there was a crosswalk in place, the incident my daughter was involved in could have easily been prevented.”

Another local resident, Stephanie O’Brien, submitted a letter to council condemning its “lack of action” regarding the “busy” and “dangerous” intersection. She noted that she had seen at least 10 near-misses of students avoiding being hit by a vehicle in recent months and called on council to fix the issue and “create a safe passage” for students wishing to cross Alder Street.

“We pay astronomical taxes in this town and we expect Council to keep our kids safe. It is a very dangerous road… A crosswalk is desperately needed to save our kids’ lives,” Mrs. O’Brien wrote. “How many kids need to be struck before you all will do the right thing?”

It was the second time in just three months that the topic of installing a crosswalk along Alder Street has come before Council. After a Sept. 26 delegation raised concerns regarding pedestrian safety in the area, Town staff brought in an engineering firm to carry out a full, in-depth study of the  intersection, which revealed there was a “slightly higher” level of pedestrian activity today from the last time the municipality looked at this in 2012.

Mayor Jeremy Williams indicated the installation of a crosswalk in the area was something he has “felt strongly about” for several years, telling council that something needs to be done to ensure the safety of pedestrians looking to cross at Alder Street and Montgomery Boulevard. Deputy Mayor Warren Maycock made the motion to support the installation of the crosswalk, which council voted unanimously to approve.

The municipality’s Director of Public Works Doug Jones suggested work to install the intersection would be carried out next spring.

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