This fall, I received safety concerns from a number of parents and caregivers of students at Holy Spirit School at 1383 Stittsville Main Street regarding cars failing to provide the right-of-way to students crossing the street at the intersection of Stittsville Main Street at Beverly Street. This was also reported as an issue for students at St. Stephen School at 1145 Stittsville Main Street.
It was very concerning to hear and also witness drivers not providing the right-of-way to the students and their caregivers who were crossing when they had the legal right-of-way. It is imperative that drivers ensure they respect the rules of the road and keep pedestrians safe in our community. If a pedestrian has a walk signal at a signalized intersection, then the vehicle must wait until the pedestrian has crossed in front of the vehicle before proceeding.
I did have an on-site meeting with Transportation Staff and Ottawa Police where we had the opportunity to speak with pedestrians and drivers regarding this safety concern. We also discussed the importance that pedestrians ensure they follow the rules of the road and only cross during the WALK signal as well as dismounting from their bikes when crossing. I have discussed this concern with the Principal of Holy Spirit School and requested this message also be shared with the school community.
The following actions were taken after the on-site meeting I held at Stittsville Main Street and Beverly Street with City staff:
- The intersection of Beverly & Stittsville Main was set to bring-up a pedestrian recall before school and after school. This means that pedestrians do not need to activate the pushbutton to receive the ‘WALK’ display during this time, it will be automatic.
- Recently the crossing area had zebra markings painted on the north side of the intersection for the east-west pedestrian crossing. This is to assist in increasing visibility to the crossing area to all users of the intersection.
- A pedestrian conflict study was undertaken in response to the request for an advanced walk signal. Transportation staff advised that this is not recommended at this time. The pedestrian conflict study undertaken this fall reveals that all 63 pedestrians: activated the pushbutton; began crossing on the ‘WALK’ display; completed their crossing; and received no vehicle interference during their crossing.
- Residents also asked if traffic calming can be done on Beverly Street and traffic staff will be assessing Beverly to determine whether permanent traffic calming measures could be installed.
- The Stittsville Main Street and Beverly Street intersection was also included in the City’s Adult School Crossing Guard review list for the upcoming spring.
- In addition, earlier this year there were school zone markings placed on Stittsville Main Street in the vicinity of the school.
Moving forward, I will continue to monitor the intersection. It is very important that residents REPORT concerns directly to the Police as well. If you witness safety issues please report it online here or through the Ottawa Police Services app. More reports received by the Police will highlight the area as a concern and officers can be deployed to the area for enforcement. I am also able to review the number of reports submitted for an area and this provides assistance for me when I am considering traffic calming measures in Stittsville.