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Intersection of Keating Avenue at First Street West, May 16, 2024. Image: Randy Thoms/Acadia Broadcasting

Four-way stop to be removed

By Randy Thoms May 16, 2024 | 4:02 PM

A four-way stop on Keating Avenue and First Street West is being removed.

Administration found traffic counts did not fit the Ministry of Transportation’s criteria.

Additional stop signs on Keating were requested after concerns were raised by resident Jordan Degagne about the safety of children crossing the intersection to and from school.

Degagne initially proposed having a crossing guard, a role he had taken on that raised concerns with the town’s by-law enforcement department.

After hearing from Degagne last fall, the town agreed to put in the stop signs on a trial basis.

study of traffic found the busiest times occurred between 8-9 a.m. and 3-4 p.m., with more than 200 vehicles reported each hour.

According to the Ministry of Transportation’s Ontario Traffic Manual, traffic volumes must exceed 200 in at least four hours of the day for an all-way stop.

It also required a combined vehicle and pedestrian traffic on the minor street of at least 75 for each of the same four hours.

The figure for First Street West exceeded 90 twice but did not go beyond 45 any other time of the day.

Councillor Mandy Olson, who uses the Kiss and Ride Program at J.W. Walker School, says feels the four-way stop was improving the safety for children.

“Statistically, the evidence is showing that we’re not hitting the marker of the percentages to keep a four-way stop in place,” says Olson. “But what I’m seeing on the other side is kids are getting a safe crossing across the road and removing that is going to, again, impede on the safety of our children in our community.”

The MTO regulations also state that four-way stops should not be in situations where the protection of pedestrians, school children in particular, is a prime concern that could be addressed by other means.

With council’s decision to remove the stop signs on Keating, the town now plans to install a new crosswalk.

“There’d be the painted component of the crosswalk, including indications ahead of the crosswalk per the MTO traffic manual,” says Craig Miller, the town’s interim Operation and Facilities Manager.

“And as well there’d be the crosswalk lights that now the modern ones include flashing lights as you come up to the crosswalk. They’re in fact solar powered, so you don’t have to worry about the electrical component of it.”

No cost has yet been identified for the crosswalk’s installation.