by Chris Pickup
Cayuga resident Carol Stockton asked Haldimand council in committee Tuesday to instal a stoplight at the intersection of Thorburn and Talbot Street (Hwy. 3) so drivers and residents alike could safely navigate the roadway.
She has been working on this since late October 2017, collected 828 signatures in favour, and had only one negative comment.
“This intersection is very dangerous and almost impossible at times to walk across or on a scooter without being hit or killed. I have witnessed many times pedestrians trying to walk across or on a scooter and the traffic just flies by.
“If halfway across the traffic does not stop I have seen pedestrians walk up Hwy. 3 (Talbot street) further or to the lights to even get across; that is not right when you live on Thorburn.”
Traffic trying to turn left from Thorburn onto Talbot can sit there for some time, Stockton said, while vehicles coming from the west “just fly” and if anyone is crossing they will not slow down. Traffic coming east off the bridge is just as bad, especially when the light at Hwy. 3 and Cayuga St. is green and they sure don’t want to have to gear down and stop, she added.
“Then if the lights are green at Munsee the traffic is free sailing and 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.”
She noted even more problems will arise with the new Thorburn Village development which includes thirty detached homes, a block of townhouses and a commercial plaza.
“Then we have the Cayuga Administration Building also going to be built on Thorburn and Chippewa. This sure means many many extra vehicles.”
With the problem at the Thorburn/Talbot intersection, some vehicles coming off Hwy 17 onto Thorburn are turning onto Joseph St. to get to the lights, which means a problem for JL Mitchener elementary school where parents and school buses are dropping children off and parking on both sides of the road. If a school bus is turning onto the parking lot of JL Mitchener they should be given the right of way as they are dropping children off, she said.
“No way will some cars stop. I have seen this happen many, many times and I only pray that no child gets hurt or killed. I have also seen cars from the survey go straight across and use Joseph street.
“So many many lives depend on these lights, please Mayor Hewitt and councillors take this very seriously and let’s get this done,” she pleaded.
When told council didn’t have the ability to do that, Stockton insisted the intersection belongs to Haldimand council. Indeed it does, answered CAO Don Boyle, and the county can do anything it wants except impede traffic.
A stoplight would impede traffic, therefore the ultimate approval would have to come from the MTO, which controls Hwy. 3 traffic flow.
Unfortunately, the MTO has been approached twice before on this intersection and twice been told it is not warranted. Councillor Dalimonte also noted the same kind of situation in Hagersville “got a flat out no”.
“At the end of the day the MTO control it, and we can’t do anything to change that,” Boyle noted. And the MTO deal with things as they are, not looking ahead to what is down the road.
However, although pessimistic, Boyle did suggest the County could contact the MTO to see whether they might approve it or not.
The following recommendation passed, and will be presented for adoption at Council next Monday:
THAT the correspondence, presentation material and petition submitted by Carol Stockton Re: Request for the Installation of Traffic Lights and Crosswalks at the Intersection of Thorburn Street South and Talbot Street (Highway 3) dated January 12, 2018, be received;
AND THAT a letter be sent by the Mayor’s Office to the Ministry of Transportation seeking approval for the installation of a traffic signal and/or crosswalk at Thorburn St. and Talbot St. in Cayuga.