KENILWORTH – Mount Forest residents Bob and Mary McIntee have asked council to “do what you can” about the intersection of King St. and Main St. in Mount Forest before there is a serious accident.
Mrs. McIntee forwarded council a copy of her letter to the editor from the Dec. 7, 2016 issue of the Mount Forest Confederate, where she shared her story of a lady trying cross the street in her wheelchair. Mrs. McIntee stated that an accident nearly occurred, and asked council to consider options to make the corner safer.
She suggested a flashing crosswalk.
Council discussed the McIntees request at their meeting on Monday afternoon.
Councillor Dan Yake told council that he met with Mr. McIntee recently to talk about the issue, and that they had a good discussion.
“Obviously anyone who has ever tried to cross at that part of Main St. knows it can be difficult,” said Yake. “I mentioned to (the McIntees) that a flashing yellow signal is not a scenario that is likely to happen just because of the fact that it isn’t the only intersection in Mount Forest and Arthur in the same situation.”
Yake said that they discussed the possibility of painting a crosswalk on the road at that location.
“We have a number of painted crosswalks that run north-south in Mount Forest, but none that run east-west across Main St.,” said Yake.
Yake said in his investigation a lot of other municipalities, especially larger ones, have painted crosswalks on their streets.
However, it may be a situation of “easier said than done” to have painted crosswalks installed.
The biggest hurdle the township would face could be getting permission from the Ministry of Transportation.
“I am assuming, because it is a provincial highway, that it isn’t as easy as painting the lines,” said Councillor Steve McCabe. “But can we just paint it on without approval from the MTO?”
Yake replied that he didn’t know the answer.
“I think it would be a matter of asking them about it,” said Yake.
“But having said that, it may take a number of years to get approval from the MTO,” he quipped. “It’s definitely something I think we should look in to.”
Lennox said that it was just last week he received a call from another resident with a similar issue at a different intersection in Mount Forest: Fergus St. and Parkside Dr.
“They were concerned about being able to cross as a pedestrian there because of the speed of traffic coming in to town,” said Lennox. “I often get questions in Arthur about crossing from the grocery store and the municipal parking lot as well.”
“To add to your point Coun. Yake – these are provincial highways and sometimes dealing with the MTO in a timely way can be a challenge,” he added. “But I think we should find out what our options are.”
Lennox also stated that he struggles with “how far do we take it?”
“I struggle with where we draw the line,” said Lennox, noting there are several controlled intersections in Mount Forest. “I myself am guilty of getting out of my parked car and just crossing the street where I am. It’s not what we should do, but it is what we do.”
Lennox said that in the near future a similar issue would likely occur at the intersection of Mount Forest Dr. and Main St., where a proposed new Canadian Tire store will be built.
“We’re going to get to the point where we are painting lines everywhere,” said Yake. “I think it is worth looking at this as perhaps a pilot project, or at least finding out what our options are.”
Council directed staff to investigate the feasibility and costs of painting a crosswalk at the intersection of King St. and Main St. in Mount Forest, with the MTO being consulted.