Councilor supports traffic lights near Roseland School to improve safety

A member of Windsor City Council now believes a traffic light with a pedestrian signal would be the best option to improve safety for those trying to cross a busy city road.

Ward 9 Councilman Kieran McKenzie advocated for safety improvements for pedestrians crossing Cabana Road East at Karen Street/Clara Avenue, right next to Roseland Public School.

When he first raised the issue in 2019 following a petition from residents, McKenzie was calling for a crosswalk with flashing lights, but since then Cabana Road has been widened to four lanes and he now thinks a traffic light would be a better option to do traffic volumes and speed issues faced by pedestrians.

A report presented to Windsor City Council on December 20, 2021 includes a number of city government recommendations to improve pedestrian safety on Cabana Road East near Roseland Public School. December 16, 2021 (Photo courtesy of the City of Windsor)

The city administration has advised against both a crosswalk or a traffic light with a pedestrian signal, recommending instead that speed control measures be installed, including radar speed feedback signs, traffic signs community safety zone and school zone signs, which come with increased fines.

“The actions we are taking right now are going to tackle motorists and speeding,” McKenzie said. “What I’m not convinced we’re doing and the piece we’re missing is that we’re not making it safer for pedestrians to cross the intersection.”

In a report presented at Monday’s Council meeting, the administration says a pedestrian signal has the potential to create significant traffic backups on Cabana Road East due to the signals’ proximity to both Holburn Street and Howard Ave.

McKenzie thinks there are ways to address these concerns.

“What you can do is program this particular light to work to make it safer for pedestrians to cross when pedestrians are going to cross there, which is before and after the ‘school,’ he says.

The cost of a pedestrian signal at intersections is between $75,000 and $100,000 with an estimated annual maintenance cost of $5,500.

Although the administration does not recommend a crosswalk or traffic light with a pedestrian signal, McKenzie points out that the administration’s report offers guidance on the matter.

“What they’re saying is ‘if you want to proceed with a signal at this intersection, some form of traffic management infrastructure, they would prefer a traffic light to a crosswalk.’ traffic, they mean something much closer to what you would see at any busy intersection – red light, green light, yellow light.”

The report also looked at the posted speed limit of 50 km/h on Cabana Road East and found that since the reconstruction speeds have been identified as high.

A study conducted in September 2016, before Cabana Road was widened, found that the average speed was 55 km/h, reaching 65 km/h among the 85th percentile.

A study conducted in January 2019, after the widening and improvements were completed, found that the average speed was 61 km/h, reaching 69 km/h among the 85th percentile.

Windsor City Council meets Monday at 1 p.m.

AM800-Cabana Road-Report-December 20, 2021-1

A report sent to Windsor City Council on December 20, 2021 by the city administration looked at traffic speeds on Cabana Road East and found an increase in speeds since the roadway was widened. December 16, 2021 (Photo courtesy of the City of Windsor)

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