At the end of October 2007, Bruce Todd identified several major issues with plans for the Place D"Armes / Ontario Street intersection. This intersection is adjacent to the LVEC.
Bruce Todd's points about the Place D"Armes / Ontario Street Intersection
#2 Availability of information prior to a Public Meeting
#3 Telling the Public Why the Intersection has to be Reconstructed and Signalized
#4 A conflict of Philosophies
#5 Baffled by Words
#6 Road Reconstruction/Rehabilitation
#7 Impacts of Various Traffic Scenarios
To: Councillor M Gerretsen , Councillor B Glover , Councillor D Hector , Councillor R Hutchison , Councillor J MacLeod-Kane , Councillor R Matheson , Councillor L Osanic , Councillor S Meers , Councillor E Smith , Mayor H Rosen , Councillor L Foster , Councillor S Garrison , Councillor V Schmolka
Cc: "Morris, Malcolm" , "Laubenstein, Glen" , Deanna Green
Subject: October public meeting re Ontario Street at Place d"Armes - Major Issue Number Five
Baffled by Words
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We were told that a series of Options were developed for this intersection, and an Evaluation Criteria was formulated. We were told that this evaluation was specific to this intersection, and one could not use this specific numerical evaluation anywhere else.
What kind of gobbledygook is being foisted on the public?
Here we have a group of people sitting around a table, juggling balls, deciding on how much weight should be put on various criterions, for a specific intersection in a specific town. Everything is subjective and ethereal. Next year, that same group of people would forget how and why they rated anything. What a fantastic way to judge something!
We learn that forty percent of the evaluation criteria was dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists - which two groups comprise about one percent of the "customers" (as the city likes calling them) using the intersection.
While I am deeply concerned about the safety of pedestrians, are citizens happy with an expenditure of over a million dollars to satisfy the needs of one percent of the customers at a given intersection? Is this an example of what is in fact a sustainable activity?
Then the consultant informed the public that they "developed standard volumes" for the intersection. In my forty-plus years of dealing with traffic volumes, I have no idea what such "traffic volumes" represent other than fudged, concocted, probable simulations of what perhaps exists in reality.
I am dismayed at such apparent bastardization of information! Where, in the annals of traffic engineering, are "standard volumes" defined and discussed? Nowhere, I submit.
We were also told that it is unsafe for pedestrians to cross at an intersection if it is not signalized - I even recall that the warning was that pedestrians have no rights to cross at an intersection if it is not signalized.
All of that is so untrue.
Pedestrians have the same rights to cross a roadway as any vehicle. Crossing a roadway, whether by car, or by walking, or by cycling, must be done with due care and reasonable judgment.
Picture a vehicle on a sidestreet wanting to cross Princess Street at an unsignalized intersection. The motorist must wait for an acceptable gap in traffic so that he can enter and/or cross the street in safety without causing a sudden and unavoidable motion by an approaching motorist. The very same due diligence applies to a pedestrian. We all know who will lose in a pedestrian/vehicle conflict, but the reality is that a pedestrian in the middle of a traffic lane has the right to continue crossing the road, and a motorist has the burden of avoiding and not doing any harm to a pedestrian so exposed.
But it appears that our distinguished city officials feel pedestrian crosswalk markings are a hazard and should be discontinued, and be removed from wherever they now exist!
Is it because our distinguished officials are not familiar with, or are unwilling to accept, Ontario's traffic rules, and the benefits of properly laid crosswalk markings?