NORTH PERTH – When it came time on July 19 for council to approve plans for recently discussed pedestrian crossover (PXO) at the intersection of Wallace Avenue South and Krotz Street, council also approved plans to install one at the south side of Wallace Avenue North and Inkerman Street.
North Perth has been reviewing and updating various pedestrian crossovers since 2018. At that time, a review of existing and potential sites for pedestrian crossovers was provided and received from Triton Engineering Ltd. As part of that review, the PXO on Wallace Avenue North at Inkerman Street was included for upgrades. The report recommended further study on traffic volumes and geometry of the intersection be conducted. The final report recommended reconstructing the crossing in its current location.
“The general recommendations are to keep the PXO at the same location for several issues of safety, layout, visibility and usage,” said Lyndon Kowch, manager of operations.
This PXO will require approval through the MTO.
“They approve the intersection drawing. As well, they would need to need to see it in our bylaw,” he said.
Kowch mentioned that there had been a discussion about the PXO going on the north side of the intersection.
“It was recommended to not do that mainly because of the usage, which is on the south side of the intersection by the vast majority of pedestrians,” he said. “The consultant felt that they wouldn’t cross the road to cross the road on Wallace…there is something called the pedestrian desire line. It means that most of the pedestrians are used to using the crosswalk as it sits today.”
He said that it is a well-used crosswalk and the majority of pedestrians do not jaywalk across Wallace Avenue.
“It’s used as a rationale to explain to the MTO that we have a pedestrian desire line, that it meets warrants and numbers of pedestrians and that we would like to keep it in the same location,” said Kowch. “As well, the consultant said it’s a safer location in general. If we had it on the north side, traffic heading southbound towards it would have to stop far back from the intersection.”
He explained to council that a PXO on the northside would cause southbound drivers on Wallace Street North who wanted to make a left turn onto Inkerman Street East to stop several metres back from the intersection. Then they would have to approach it from a distance where they could not see the activities of pedestrians.
“On the south side of the intersection, cars can see a lot more about the right turn they will be making,” said Kowch.
Coun. Terry Seiler asked what will be done with the no left turn signs on Inkerman Street.
“People make comments that they are cutting across the parking lot…and some people are just turning anyhow,” he said.
Kowch pointed out that he discussed that in his report, as did Triton Engineering in theirs.
“The no left turn with the PXO in that area is considered a safety issue and is necessary and it is recommended that it stays in the current status that it is in,” he said. “I’m going to have to work with the OPP to make sure it’s enforceable. Those were considered to be a good change at the intersection.”
The review by Triton Engineering assessed several options and found that a PXO is the best alternative of options assessed which included traffic signals, a pedestrian signal, as well as a PXO. The intersection sees less traffic than what would warrant full traffic signals, however, increased traffic growth could see traffic signals being recommended in the future. With this in mind, the PXO poles and their placement will be constructed in a manner that is “traffic signal ready.”
The PXO to be installed on Wallace Avenue North at Inkerman Street will be a Level Two Type B crossover, which includes the use of side-mounted and overhead regulatory signs, side-mounted rectangular rapid flashing beacons and pavement markings.
Based on the vehicle counts collected on Wallace Avenue South the PXO on the north side of Krotz Street will be Level Two Type C. This PXO will include signs with rectangular rapid flashing beacons and ladder pavement markings.
There are three other recommended steps for traffic calming planned for Wallace Avenue South:
• painting centre line markings from Anger Street to Line 84;
• painting edge line paving marking on the sides of the road providing an opportunity for bike lanes from Anger Street to Line 84; and
• pavement marking to create a gore area at the south side of the island at Krotz Street.
Council voted unanimously in favour of the construction of both of the recommended PXOs. Kowch said it is hoped that the one at the Wallace Avenue South location will be installed by the time school starts and he would love to see the one at the Inkerman Street intersection installed by Nov. 1.
Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner