Region looks to make top collision intersections safer with new countermeasures

The region's transportation services is looking to make some of the region's top collision intersections safer by adding several new countermeasures.

Regional staff highlighted top 10 collision hot spots for pedestrian and cyclists in a December 2019 report

The Region of Waterloo is looking at ways to make streets safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. (Jenna Reid/CBC)

Changes are coming to some of the region's most crash-prone intersections.

In December, the region compiled a list of the top 10 crash sites for cyclists and pedestrians. Kitchener and Cambridge had some of the worst spots.

In 2018, the worst places for pedestrian crashes were University Avenue at Albert Street in Waterloo and Ainslie Street at Main Street in Cambridge.

For cyclists, those spots were Westmount Road at Victoria Street in Kitchener and King Street at Bishop Street in Cambridge.

A report going before a regional planning and works committee on Tuesday proposes new pilot projects and implementations that could help reduce collisions for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

"We have looked at the details of why those collisions are happening at those locations and we're implementing strategies and measures to reduce the frequency of those collisions that are occurring there," said Bob Henderson, manager of transportation for the Region of Waterloo.

If regional council approves, some of the proposed countermeasure could be implemented shortly after, Henderson said.

No right-turn on red

One of the proposed countermeasures looks at piloting a no right-turn on red at three intersections to reduce pedestrian and cycling collisions at those locations.

The intersections are:

  • University Avenue and Albert Street in Waterloo.
  • Hespeler Road at Munch Avenue in Cambridge.
  • Hespeler Road at Bishop Street in Cambridge.

"This collision type accounts for 19 per cent of all pedestrian collisions between 2014 and 2018," the report said.

Staff will assess the effectiveness of adding the no right-turn on red and report back to council.

Cyclist warning signs

Staff are looking to expand a cycling warning sign pilot that Henderson said has had a positive effect in reducing the number of cycling collisions.

The signs have already been placed along Courtland Avenue in Kitchener and Hespeler Road in Cambridge. The plan is to expand the pilot to all 10 cycling collision hot spots.

Henderson said they are seeing a "positive trend" across the region, adding cycling related collisions have been going down.

"Part of the reason why they're going down, we believe, is the implementation of those signs," he said.

The region's transportation services is planning to expanding a new cycling warning sign pilot to all 10 collision hot spots for cyclists in the region. (Region of Waterloo)

ION countermeasure

Another countermeasure that could be implemented is a no right-turn on northbound King Street onto Victoria Street in downtown Kitchener.

"This location has had the highest frequency of collision and instances of emergency braking as a result of motorists and cyclists turning right in conflict with northbound light rail vehicles," the report said.

Henderson said the region needs to take further action to improve safety at that intersection. 

These are the top 10 collision hot spots for pedestrians in Waterloo region in 2018. A report going to the region's planning and works committee is looking at implementing countermeasures to improve safety. (CBC)


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