Pedestrian crossovers coming to 7 Iron Horse Trail intersections
Crossovers give legal right-of-way to pedestrians
The City of Kitchener wants to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the street while using the Iron Horse Trail.
On Monday, the city's community and infrastructure services committee passed a recommendation to add pedestrian crossovers at seven city-controlled intersections.
- Union Boulevard.
- Glasgow Street.
- Gage Avenue.
- West Avenue.
- Mill Street.
- Madison Avenue.
- Kent Avenue.
Pedestrian crossovers give people travelling on foot or by bike the chance to cross the street by requiring cars to yield.
"Just by approaching the crosswalk, that gives the legal right-of-way to the pedestrian and the driver must yield," said Darren Kropf, the city's active transportation planning project manager.
The intersections will feature pavement markings and in some cases, raised crossings. The busiest intersections — Union Boulevard, Glasgow Street and Mill Street — will also get flashing beacons.
One intersection — Palmer Avenue — is expected to get a yield sign but no pedestrian crossover.
City vs. Region jurisdiction
Not all intersections along the Iron Horse Trail are controlled by the City of Kitchener.
The crossings at Victoria Street, Queen Street, Courtland Avenue, Borden Avenue and Ottawa Street are under the jurisdiction of the Region of Waterloo. The city plans to add stop signs and "wait for gap" signs on the trail approaching those intersections, so pedestrians understand they don't have the right of way over cars.
During Monday's meeting, Coun. Debbie Chapman said she thinks the proposed improvements are important, but asked whether the region has considered making similar pedestrian crossings to "make things more symmetrical."
Kropf read a statement from the region, which said it is "investigating the feasibility" of adding cross rides to the intersection of Courtland and Stirling and crossovers at Victoria, Queen, Borden and Ottawa.
It isn't clear when that research is expected to take place.
Kitchener's planned improvements need to be ratified by council. If approved, construction is set to begin in the fall to make use of provincial grant funding that will expire at the end of 2021.
The Iron Horse Trail is the city's busiest trail. The city says more than 250,000 trips are made on it each year by cyclists and pedestrians.
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