By Adrian Duyzer
Published May 28, 2011
In an article about the Hamilton Economic Summit, I talked about how the Traffic Engineering Department refused to install a pedestrian-activated stoplight at Aberdeen and Kent because not enough people cross there - after they installed signs specifically instructing pedestrians not to cross.
Here's the text of the email that was sent by a staffer at the Traffic Engineering Department to Councillor Brian McHattie:
We have reviewed the conditions for pedestrians to cross Aberdeen at the intersection of Kent and compared them to our Council approved policy. The study was delayed to ensure that winter weather did not influence the results.
Our policy follows the Provincially recommended method of evaluation with one major exception; the Provincial standard requires a minimum 200 pedestrians in 8 hours whereas the City's policy requires a minimum 100 pedestrians in 7 hours.
The IPS study times include 7-9am, 11am-1pm and 2:30-5:30pm. These cover all periods of high pedestrian activity. During the study we noted only 40 pedestrians crossing which is well below the minimum standard.
We identified sufficient gaps in the traffic for pedestrians to safely cross Aberdeen at Kent. On average, pedestrians waited for about 18 seconds before finding a suitable gap in the traffic to cross in. With a pedestrian signal, the average waiting time would be similar. There has been no collisions in the past 10 years involving a pedestrian crossing Aberdeen in the 400 metre stretch of road from east of Locke to west of Queen.
We considered the possibility of a median refuge island to provide two shorter crossings of Aberdeen. Unfortunately, the width of the road and the number and location of driveways in the area makes this option unworkable.
Based on our evaluation, we recommend that no changes are required at this time.
Councillor McHattie has countered with a Notice of Motion that will be submitted at the June 6 Public Works Committee meeting. Here's the notice:
Request for Installation of a pedestrian-activated signal at the intersection of Kent Street and Aberdeen Avenue (Ward 1)
(a) That a pedestrian-activated signal be installed at the intersection of Kent Street and Aberdeen Avenue.
(b) That staff be directed to investigate funding the estimated $80,000 cost of this project out of Ward 1 area rating derived funding.
(c) That the appropriate amending by-law be passed.
The Public Works Committee is chaired by Councillor Powers and vice-chaired by Councillor McHattie. Other members are Councillors Collins, Duvall, Ferguson, Jackson, Merulla, Pasuta, and Whitehead.