Sunday, September 20, 2009

cars over pedestrians...

[How do pedestrian safety concerns get translated by the city into widening the road? - ed]
Loss of family pet renews calls for Governor’s Rd. improvements

Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News Staff
Published on Sep 18, 2009

A new Dundas resident has joined his Governor’s Road neighbours in demanding improvements to the thoroughfare after his dog was killed by a speeding car.

Gary Mckeown said he was walking his four-year-old Sheltie, Dawson, on a leash, when it stepped into the curbside lane and was struck by a red SUV or van. The dog died instantly.

Mr. Mckeown estimated the female driver was travelling more than 30 km-h over the speed limit when she moved into the curb lane to pass another vehicle, hitting Dawson.

“She didn’t even stop,” Mr. Mckeown said. “She had to know she hit a dog. Is she so heartless she couldn’t stop to say sorry?”

The incident raised his concern for pedestrian safety. He questioned why there is no crosswalk or traffic light at the corner of Overfield and Governor’s, where St. Joseph’s Villa long-term care facility is located. He also said the 50 km-h speed limit is not clearly marked in the area.

Within two weeks of moving to his Governor’s Road townhouse, Mr. Mckeown began raising the same concerns other area residents have had for years.

Hamilton Police Services Division Three Sergeant Mike Senchyshak said he heard about the dog’s death after Mr. Mckeown called police to complain about speeding on Governor’s Road.

“We’ve since made it a special attention,” Sgt. Senchyshak said. “We have had previous complaints about Governor’s Road, mostly in the area of the schools.”

Vehicles not stopping for school buses and illegally passing on the unpaved shoulder are among the complaints received by police.

Despite previous accidents in the area, including a collision that killed an elderly woman, proposed improvements along Governor’s Road have been delayed for four years.

Preliminary recommendations

The Downtown Dundas Transportation Master Plan preliminary recommendations included several changes to the Governor’s Road-Ogilvie Street intersection and a roundabout at Governor’s Road and Davidson Boulevard.

But staffing changes at the City of Hamilton delayed both projects. Diana Morreale recently took over as project manager, and is the third project manager of the master plan process since it began in May 2008.

Ms. Morreale said recommendations to widen Governor’s Road to four lanes between Creighton and Osler by adding additional westbound and eastbound lanes will be included in the final staff report. Other final recommendations for the Governor’s- Ogilvie intersection from the draft report include: adding a northbound left turn phase; changing the lane configuration of the southbound approach to feature an exclusive left turn lane with 15 metres of storage plus a shared through-right turn lane.

These changes are anticipated between 2012 and 2021 and are intended to alleviate traffic congestion. It’s not clear how the changes will address speeding or pedestrian safety, but Ms. Morreale said adjusting pedestrian signal timings will be recommended.

The proposed roundabout has completed a 30-day review period without opposition and apparently awaits approval in the 2010 budget process. It was originally supported by traffic staff in 2005.