Traffic Light Installation on HWY 12 (Warminster)
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Warminster Elementary School is a small school in a community with big heart. It is situated on the corner of Highway 12 and Warminster Sideroad as the major intersections, in the Township of Oro-Medonte. With an increase in trucking traffic, construction and a growing population, the need for community safety is evident along this major highway.
Currently, there is a flashing light pedestrian crossing that is activated when pushed (formally known as Level 2 Type B Pedestrian Crossover as designed in the newly updated OTM Book 15). It is most often utilized during school entry and dismissal, however, all ages and abilities use this at any point through the day. It is also the only designated crosswalk in the community across Highway 12 providing access to the post office, a convenience store, gas station, LCBO, a park, soccer fields and people's homes.
This petition is in support of the installation of a traffic light to help with the flow of traffic and ultimately to provide safety for pedestrians of all ages, but specifically, school-aged children who walk to school unsupervised.
Because the crosswalk extends across a King's Highway, many motorists are not aware of it, let alone yield or stop. It is quite unusual to see a crosswalk in the middle of a highway. On any given day, you can observe cars driving through the intersection with no regard for the children waiting to cross. It is for public safety of pedestrians as well as motorists that we implore the Ontario Ministry of Transportation to reconsider the need for a traffic light, in lieu of a crosswalk.
A traffic light would also force motorists to slow down with ample time in the school community zones when travelling 80KM, then 60KM into Warminster then 40KM into the school zone along the highway. The visual cue of the lights would prompt people to slow down quicker and make the appropriate stop when the lights change. The obvious visibility of a stop light would alleviate many issues with transportation and pedestrian safety. The flashing pedestrian symbol or hand symbol would also give a clear indication to children when it is indeed safe to cross, reducing the risky and potentially dangerous encounters with vehicles.
The current crosswalk was completed in January 2018. According to the MTO, "The Warminster PXO was one of the ministry’s first attempt at utilizing this design on a King’s Highway. It usually takes 6 months to a year for all road users to become familiar to significant changes in roadway/intersection operations."
It has been two years and motorists are not aware that this crosswalk exists, despite attempts at signage, let alone that it means to stop for crossing children. Two years for people to get used to this new installation, and two years with TOO MANY close calls. The problem isn't so much local drivers, it's the truckers, the commuters and the passersby that are unaware and won't be able to stop in time. It is evident this system is not effective for safety and overall traffic flow. The installation of a traffic light is more cost effective and safer than using a school-board crossing guard or the OPP to assist with traffic.
Thank you for your support of this effort. It has been suggested by elected officials that a petition would highlight the necessity for the review of the current traffic situation. Your signature will help to substantiate this claim to the MTO, Township of Oro-Medonte, Simcoe County, and the Province that the installation of a traffic light would overall protect children, as well as pedestrians and motorists of all ages. It also highlights the value we place on children in society- they are priceless.
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