By Chris Pickup

Carole Stockton, who tackled Haldimand council last year on the question of a stoplight at the Thorburn/Talbot intersection in Cayuga for both pedestrians and traffic, was at Wednesday’s county public meeting to ask for another intervention.

A stoplight would impede traffic, therefore the ultimate approval would have to come from the MTO which controls Hwy. 3 traffic flow, council told Stockton last February. The MTO had been approached twice before on this intersection and twice been told it is not warranted.

The traffic problems at the intersection, where vehicles can wait for some time to get onto the highway and cause imminent threat to pedestrians, also causes traffic coming off Hwy 17 onto Thorburn to turn onto Joseph St. to get to the lights, Stockton reiterated Wednesday.

This creates a problem for JL Mitchener elementary school where parents and school buses are dropping children off and parking on both sides of the road.

Stockton was told there was the possibility of a pedestrian crossover at Thorburn/Talbot. 

Coincidentally, Councillor Dalimonte had queried the possibility of installing a pedestrian crosswalk at King and Alma in Hagersville at the previous day’s council in committee, where Mayor Hewitt noted there are several areas throughout Haldimand county that need crossovers, such as the Dunnville Farmers Market, and the Talbot/Thorburn intersection was also referenced. 

County staff has been tasked with looking for a specific template for crossovers, such as high intensity crossing lights, so there will be immediate recognition from motorists all across the county. CAO Don Boyle said they need to get numbers of crosswalks, costs and design for the upcoming budget.

However, all the planning in the world won’t eliminate motorists running out in front of crossovers, Stockton emphasized Wednesday. It’s all about enforcement, and that isn’t happening, she added. 

“No way will some cars stop. Let me tell you you had better get across fast walking, scooter or vehicle as they will not slow down and I have had this happen to me.”

“It’s a balancing act,” Hewitt said. The county has ramped up enforcement over the years, then they get the other side … how dare you give me a ticket. Neighbours also fight over measures such as speed bumps; not everyone in a neighbourhood wants them.

In addition, the county’s enforcement only runs Monday to Friday, he said, and the county is faced with the union bargaining unit to change that. As for the OPP, “county bylaws are at the bottom of the pile”.