After a delegation by Cavan Monaghan Township resident Brian Taylor in September regarding the safety of Crestwood and James Strath students crossing Sherbrooke St., Council asked staff to develop recommendations as quickly as possible in order to prevent an accident.
The intersection currently has a crosswalk which was installed in the summer of 2019. Additional signs and lights were installed shortly after in response to complaints that many cars were failing to stop, ignoring the traffic restrictions, even as crosswalk lights flashed.
With the return of school in full force, the problem has resumed, and is at its peak at the beginning and end of the school day, when roughly 30 students use this crosswalk on their way to and from school.
Sherbrooke St. is a County road, so the township has no direct control over it, and the school board also has a significant stake on traffic flow around its facilities. Township staff led a three party meeting of the County, School Board and Township to discuss this issue. County staff indicated that there was a movement to reduce speed limits in all County school zones to 40 km./hr. The school board is reviewing the traffic flow around the school with the possibility of limiting entrance and exit routes to reduce congestion and confusion around the Crestwood facility and will advise the township of its conclusions.
At the October 16th Council meeting, staff presented a report suggesting several proposals to mitigate the dangers to pedestrians crossing the Sherbrooke at the intersection of Longview Drive.
After much discussion, Council approved the immediate hiring of a crossing guard to supervise the Sherbrooke West Pedestrian crossing for the remainder of this year and the next. Staff will continue to examine infrastructure at this location to see if improved lighting and/or a different type of fixture can improve compliance with the traffic control fixture.
Rather than request that the 40 km./hr limit be applied year-round across all three school locations in the township, Council requested that a time restriction on the speed reduction for the North Cavan Public School be incorporated because of the high visibility at this location and the extremely limited foot traffic outside school hours. As a result, staff will make a formal request to the County of Peterborough to pass a by-law lowering the speed limit within all School Zones on County roads within the township to 40 km./hr with the exception of North Cavan Public School where the 40 km./hr limit will only be applied during school hours. Peterborough Police Services are aware of the challenges at the Crestwood location in particular and have advised that when the change is implemented, there will be increased enforcement at this location to reinforce the implementation of the reduced speed limit for this school zone. KG