Chatham-Kent council will not be putting a traffic light at the intersection of McNaughton Avenue and Keil Drive despite concerns raised by several area residents at Monday night’s meeting.
Coun. Michael Bondy’s motion failed to attract a seconder after a deputation by about half a dozen residents, who were mostly in favour of a traffic light.
In recommending against a light, Thomas Kelly, general manager of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, recommended that council pay attention to data from a study conducted a year ago that showed no light was needed.
Kelly cautioned council against making “unwarranted” changes based on public complaints and instead rely on data.
Kelly said past decisions based on unwarranted traffic controls have led to very different rules for streets facing similar traffic patterns, such as widely different speed limits on Gregory Drive, McNaughton Avenue and Grand Avenue.
“A traffic light is not necessarily the most cost effective or safest solution,” said Kelly, who said that it could lead to other problems. “If you put a traffic light there, you’ll divert traffic to residential Baldoon.”
Furthermore, he said, “You’ll see an increase in speed on McNaughton as a result as people try to get through the green.
“Let’s let the data provide the analysis,” said Kelly. “There are long term effects and it affects everybody.”
Kelly, while acknowledging there could be some problems with the intersection that data didn’t detect, said there could be other ways of solving the problem other than installing a traffic light, an option that would cost in excess of half a million dollars.
Several residents called for a light to control the intersection. One woman, who is visually impaired, said she has trouble crossing the two lanes of traffic in order get to a bus stop located on the south side of McNaughton.
Another woman said that while the problems with traffic at the intersection aren’t there all day long, she said it is a dangerous intersection.
A man who lives on a side street north of the intersection said the area continues to grow and that the problem will only get worse. He added he felt that a traffic light would also make pedestrians feel safer and increase foot traffic.
But one nearby resident said she didn’t see a need for a traffic light and that it could make the intersection more dangerous as drivers try to beat the light. She also said it would add more time for drivers in which they would be stopped at the intersection.
The intersection of McNaughton and Keil was just one of the traffic issues council dealt with during the night.
A motion by Coun. Trevor Thompson that the speed limit on River Line in Dover west of Bloomfield Road to Jacob Road be temporarily lowered to 60 km/h until the weight limit on the Parry Bridge on Keil Drive is removed failed to find a seconder.
A report in response to a notice of motion by Thompson that the speed limit on Riverview Line in Raleigh be similarly lowered to 60 km/h between Bloomfield Road and the Prairie Siding Bridge was received for information.
Source: Chatham Daily News