Facebook and on our Website has focused on the lack of a Crosswalk at Merivale Road and St. Monica’s school. The Glens CA has investigated this issue in detail.
Any of us who have attempted to cross Merivale know how treacherous it can be, especially during peak traffic hours. The Crosswalk at Amberwood connecting to the NCC path does not help those near Pineglen or those attempting to reach the school or a bus stop on either side.
The issue is a frustrating one for the Glens Community and it is one that has been brought forward before by concerned residents. The Glens Community Association has worked closely with City Staff and with our Councillor, Keith Egli to find a solution to the Community’s very real concerns. Unfortunately, our efforts are thwarted by the Warrant system, Merivale Road’s unique characteristics and the nearby railway crossing.
To meet the criteria to place a Pedestrian Crosswalk, issues such as traffic volume, roadway geometry (i.e. width, number of lanes, sightlines etc.), posted speed limit, and spacing to an adjacent Traffic Control Device must all be considered. Additionally, a high volume of pedestrian traffic (200+) is needed. The volume of people crossing to attend St. Monica’s or simply back and forth has not met the numbers set by the Warrants. There is a similar process for Traffic lights on roads.
The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority has indicated that everyone east of Merivale is being picked up by bus so there are limited walkers to St. Monica’s that must cross Merivale.
There are now speed signs indicating a 40 km School Zone that were put in recently and the rest of the section of Merivale that runs through the community is 50 km. Most of us are aware of both the excessive speed and the large volume of traffic on this part of Merivale. Our one speed indicator sign does little to slow traffic.
The railway tracks and the turn onto MacFarlane are also compounding factors when considering a Crosswalk. Given recent budget demands, the cost of a Crosswalk on Merivale may not be viable for some time which is another factor in this issue, even if we met the Warrants.
The Community Association, supported by our residents, will consider looking at a concerted effort to address speeding on this section of Merivale Road particularly with the 40 km designation in the school zone. The City gave a green light to the use of photo radar cameras in school areas and they are already in place on streets like Meadowlands. This may be a more productive way of addressing what is a perceived safety concern for anyone attempting to cross Merivale especially at peak traffic times.
Don’t hesitate to bring your concerns forward to the City and to keep your Community Association informed about situations that demonstrate the seriousness of this safety issue. We will continue to try and get attention paid to an issue we all see as an impediment to our safety.