Three new all-way stops approved in town

August 18, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Orangeville’s getting three new all-way stop signs.

Following a review by town staff and significant outreach by residents, councillors voted unanimously to install all-way stop signs at College Avenue/Fieldgate Drive, Spencer Avenue/Cornwall Gate and Alder Street/Sherwood Street, during a regular meeting on Aug. 8.

During town staff’s review of all-way stop signs in Orangeville, Meadow Drive/Pheasant Drive/Passmore Avenue came up but weren’t recommended to have a stop sign implemented due to a low volume of vehicle traffic. Instead, council unanimously voted to have enhanced safety measures in that neighbourhood and erect a temporary flashing speed display sign.

Coun. Lisa Post said herself, Coun. Joe Andrews and Coun. Todd Taylor went to the Meadow Drive intersection to assess the problems there and in speaking with residents at it for around 45 minutes, they all witnessed near misses from vehicles passing by.

In light of a stop sign not being considered appropriate in that area by town staff, council could consider a few other options, according to Gary Kocialek, interim general manager of infrastructure services,

At least 90 per cent of the traffic at Meadow Drive is local to that community, so to help improve the behaviour of drivers there, they could install “children playing signs”, Kocialek said. These signs are cut outs of children with messaging for drivers to slow down or drive safe.

“I think it’s effective. At least it’s a step in the right direction,” Kocialek noted.

With most of the bad driving behaviour coming from people local to the Meadow Drive area, he also suggested having a written communication from the town dropped off at everyone’s door, highlighting the ongoing issues.

“My guess is that if we can set the right tone, some of the offenders will actually listen,” Koicalek said.

Increased OPP enforcement is the other safety enhancement he suggested.

Coun. Post said instead of a stop sign at Meadow Drive, she supports enhanced safety measures, such as traffic calming and written communications from the town.

All of the recommendations offered by Koicalek were approved by council when voting on enhanced safety measures for the Meadow Drive intersection.

Coun. Todd Taylor said while he hates to give up the fight for a stop sign at Meadow Drive, the comments made by other councillors indicated it wasn’t going to pass, so he sees the next best thing as increasing safety protocols there.

When looking at the Spencer Avenue/Cornwall Gate intersection, councillors agreed that if they put a sign there, traffic would be re-routed along the Alder Street/Sherwood Street intersection, so a stop sign is needed in both locations to make it effective.

Meanwhile, Mayor Sandy Brown said the town needs to do a better job educating and reminding residents about proper driving etiquette and following the law.

“We’re going to have to talk to our neighbors. We’re going to have to make people aware of the proper rules of the road,” he remarked. “OPP can’t be everywhere. I know going forward, I’m sure they’re going to be rotating through the town, and that’s what we expect. And we hope that some of those lessons will be taught harshly to those who do those things.”

Mayor Brown said further discussions on automated speed enforcement and red light cameras in Orangeville is ongoing.

It’s important to note that stop signs aren’t intended to give pedestrians a place to cross. They’re meant to control traffic.

When determining if an all way stop sign is needed, the total volume of vehicles that drive through the intersection is assessed. If there are more than 250 cars than an all-way stop sign could be warranted.

However, that is dependent on the volume split. If only a few cars are trying to cross from the side of the intersection that has a stop sign on it, an all-way stop would not be needed, as it disrupts traffic flow unnecessarily.

Another factor is how many collisions or vehicle accidents have taken place at the intersection, If there are recurring incidents, an all-way stop sign could be warranted.

Sight lines play also play a role in determining where all-way stops are needed. A stop sign should have at least 100 meters of sight distance for drivers, providing them with the opportunity to stop in time.

It’s important to note that the aforementioned areas discussed to have stop signs enacted cannot be brought up again for five years, in accordance with the town’s bylaws.

Council’s next regular meeting is Sept. 12.

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