Saturday, December 15, 2012

Governor’s Road traffic a complex issue

Kitty MacLeod died for lack of a crosswalk (Opinion, Dec. 10)

Letters, Hamilton Spectator, December 15, 2012

To suppose that Kitty MacLeod died for lack of a crosswalk on Governor’s Road opposite St. Joseph’s Villa is to hold a misguided view of public policy. Any public policy based on one death or the possibility of “someone getting killed” cannot be reasonable. If it were, in the absurd extreme, we would have a crosswalk at every point where a pedestrian chose to cross a road, an all-way stop or signal at every intersection.

The contributing factors in MacLeod’s death are many. Those within the purview of municipal policy extend back in time at least to the approval of Governor’s Estates with no provision for adequate vehicle access. Simply painting a new lane line on a roadway without widening it in anticipation of greatly increased volume does not create a new lane. Moreover, the pedestrian-operated signals at Creekside-Hatt and Creekside-Ogilvie are, for most who encounter them, more of a problem than a solution.

“Everybody knows” (with a nod to Leonard Cohen) that the Ogilvie-Governor’s intersection has been dysfunctional from a traffic perspective for years. Its geometrics, lane markings, permitted moves, lane widths and approaches are all in need of a rigorous rethink given the volumes of vehicles, pedestrians, transit riders, cyclists, and scooters who take their chances every day.

Before Councillor Russ Powers acts to bring forward a crosswalk planned for 2017, with its guarantee of serious collateral discontent, I’d like to propose a community user-driven review of traffic policy and operations for the area centred on the Governor’s-Ogilvie intersection.

George Vance, Dundas

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