Traffic light urged to curb Ottawa jail jaywalking

Pedestrians and motorists say a traffic light or crosswalk is needed at Innes Road near the entrance of the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, but the province and city are at odds over who should pay for it.

Regional detention centre entrance, exit lacks traffic lights or crosswalk

Pedestrians, motorists want city or province to step up and foot bill for traffic light/crosswalk. 2:11

Jaywalking near the entrance of Ottawa's Innes Road jail has pedestrians and motorists calling for a traffic light or crosswalk, but neither the province nor city is stepping up to foot the bill.

People often cross the six-lane segregated road at the entrance to the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre in order to reach an OC Transpo bus stop on the other side.

Vehicles also routinely race by at more than the 80-kilometre-per-hour posted speed limit, according to pedestrian Pat Travil.

"There are so many lanes of traffic and they are travelling so fast, it's definitely dangerous," said Travil.

Construction worker Erik Tisdelle said he has seen a few close calls when driving on Innes Road.

"Lot of people running across to go take the bus, but [it's] not a very safe place to do so," said Tisdelle. "It's like that frogger game, trying to cross the street," he said.

Left turns also issue out of detention centre

Coun. Rainer Bloess, who represents the area for the City of Ottawa, said the issue has worsened as traffic volume on Innes has increased and the detention centre has expanded.

Pat Travil hustles across Innes to get to the bus stop on the other side of the road. (CBC)

But the pedestrian traffic count at the jail entrance has not yet reached the mandatory mark that would require the province to help pay for a traffic light, said Bloess.

Bloess said the speed of traffic also makes it an issue for drivers seeking to turn left from the detention centre onto Innes. He said police leaving the detention centre often turn right and find a way to turn around to go left later.

Bloess would like to see the province, which runs the detention centre, "step up to the plate" and help pay for a light.

Intersection is city's responsibility, province says

In a statement, a Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services spokesman said city would have to pay for traffic lights on it own.

"The Ministry has always maintained that it is the responsibility of the City of Ottawa to install and pay for traffic lights and crosswalks on municipal roads as they fall under municipal jurisdiction and we have done our best to engage the city on this important matter," said ministry spokesman Brent Ross.

Bloess said the city will conduct another traffic count this fall to see if the volume of car and foot traffic rises to meet the provincial standard. He said he hopes both sides can sit down and figure out a solution before anyone is hurt.

"We have a provincial jail, we have a municipal road and both sides are asking whose responsibility is it?" said Bloess. "My concern of course is the safety, primarily of pedestrians when you get across to the bus stop."

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