By Ryan McGreal
Published June 21, 2011
The members of yesterday's Public Works Committee meeting voted unanimously in favour of Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie's motion [PDF link] to install a pedestrian-activated crossing signal on Aberdeen Avenue at Kent Street.
The approved motion still needs to be ratified by Council, and is scheduled to appear on the agenda for the June 29 Council meeting.
If the motion passes Council approval, the installation will still need to be funded. Councillor McHattie has requested that city staff consider funding the $80,000 installation cost out of funds generated from the area rating infrastructure levy.
The funding will need to be approved via the 2012 budget process, and the crosswalk might be installed by mid-2012.
Momentum for a crosswalk at the corner of Aberdeen and Kent began to build last year when Dr. Madeleine Verhovsek wrote a letter to McHattie to request it. McHattie expressed support and encouraged concerned residents to organize public support for the proposal.
He also organized a meeting with city staff in December, where representatives from the public works and public health departments announced that the city is undertaking a pedestrian master plan study.
Staff reviewed the intersection, but recommended against a crosswalk on the grounds that not enough pedestrians cross there and gaps in traffic are big enough to allow safe crossing - despite the fact that the city has posted signs warning pedestrians to cross at Locke or Queen Street instead.
Meanwhile, a group of engaged residents launched a campaign that included a petition with door-to-door canvassing and a website. They ended up collecting over 430 signatures, which they presented with the petition to Councillor McHattie.
At yesterday's committee meeting, I had the honour of making a presentation to the committee with Danielle Schwalm, another nearby resident who has been helping with the campaign. After our delegation, McHattie moved the motion and it was carried unanimously with no debate.
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