By Stew Slater
Despite being the topic of ongoing discussion at both Town Council and the Police Services Board — including requests for costing of both a four-way stop and a flashing warning light — the intersection of Church and Station Streets is actually well down a list of accident locations in St. Marys.
And, at a regular Committee of the Whole meeting last night (Tuesday, Sept. 18), Town Councillors heard a delegation requesting no four-way stop at the intersection.
“Our hope is that Council will deem a four-way stop unsafe and take no action in regards to a four-way stop and not create a more dangerous corner and put us at more risk of property and personal injury,” states a letter from Church Street North residents Sharon and Don Cameron to the Town, requesting the opportunity to speak at last night’s meeting.
Last month, a report from Stratford-based engineering consultant Burnside advised the traffic count at the intersection does not meet a Ministry of Transportation threshold for enhanced traffic control. The report added that the steep incline from the intersection up Church Street North could potentially exacerbate the danger of stopping at a four-way stop.
However, the safety of the intersection has been up for discussion for many months at both Council and the PSB, and questions were renewed last winter when a westbound vehicle apparently ran the Stop sign on Station Street, colliding with another vehicle and pushing it onto a large, decorative stone in front of the Royal Canadian Legion. Acknowledging these ongoing discussions, the Burnside report advised a safe four-way stop could be implemented at the location.
At last night’s Committee of the Whole meeting, councillors were provided estimated costs for two options: four-way stop signs ($400) and a flashing warning light ($9,200).
Prior to the meeting, however, Town CAO Kevin McLlwain revealed to the Journal Argus that an assessment of vehicular collisions throughout St. Marys over a three-year time period show the Church/Station location actually ranks 12th.
McLlwain said full details of the assessment would not be available until the Sept. 18 meeting. And, at time of printing, he could not pinpoint which locations were higher on the list. But he expected to be able to provide that information this week.