THUNDER BAY – The City activated Thunder Bay’s first pedestrian crossover Wednesday at the south-west corner of Algoma Street and Cornwall Avenue. A large gathering of dignitaries, including Councillors Angus, Pugh, Pullia, Johnson, Virdiramo, and Mayor Hobbs were on hand.
On January 1, 2016, changes to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act came into effect that officially allows municipalities to install new types of pedestrian crossovers.
A pedestrian crossover is a place where people can safely cross the road – between intersections – where motorists and cyclists are legally required to stop and wait for them to cross. These crossings open up new opportunities to provide safe and convenient crossings for citizens.
“For years people have been telling me that crossing the streets in Thunder Bay is not easy,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs. “The new provincial legislation allows us to install these, and there’s no better first location than the Bay and Algoma neighbourhood.”
Crossovers have new shark teeth and ladder pavement markings, special ‘stop for pedestrian’ signage, and flashing beacon lights.
“Seven potential crossover sites were shortlisted, but Bay Street and Cornwall Avenue was chosen first because it had the greatest potential for safety improvements and usage,” said Adam Krupper, Mobility Coordinator. “Previous street improvements, including curb extensions, made the construction much easier.”
The Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee worked closely with City Engineers to make sure that the new crossing system is audible, vibratory, and visible, and the curb ramps have new tactile plates so anyone will be able to use it.
In addition to new signage, there are new rules and fines for motorists.
“Motorist have to remember that if these lights are flashing or someone is waiting to cross, they must stop at the shark teeth lines on the roadway,” said Acting Traffic Sergeant John Toneguzzi. “Once the pedestrian steps onto the roadway, vehicles are legally required to stop and not proceed through the crossover until the pedestrian completely crosses the road and onto the curb. There are serious fines for not stopping, including a $180 fine and up to three demerit points.”
For more information, visit: crossoverready.com