No stop signs for Summerside intersection

Nancy MacPhee
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Traffic counters indicate 72 per cent of vehicles speed through Central Street and Walker Avenue

Central Street at Walker Drive

SUMMERSIDE — Despite data indicating speeding is a problem at the intersection of Central Street and Walker Avenue, the city’s technical services department is not recommending a three-way stop be installed.

The department’s staff had been asked to look at the intersection after Coun. Frank Costa raised concerns about speeding in the area.

“That was one of the reasons they were asking for a stop sign ... was to slow down the traffic,” said Costa, who has received numerous complaints from his constituents.

“What takes precedent, flow or safety?”

Two traffic counters were installed at the intersection during the summer and it was found the average speed for outbound traffic was 60 kilometres per hour and, for inbound traffic, 56 km/h. The posted speed limit in the area is 50 km/h.

Traffic counters indicated about 30 per cent of the vehicles going through the intersection were travelling at speeds higher than 60 km/h.

But, said director Aaron MacDonald, installing a three-way stop would only cause traffic congestion in the area, adding the issue is one of enforcement.

He said about 8,000 vehicles a day travel south of the intersection, 4,400 vehicles north and about 5,000 vehicles travel Walker Avenue each day.

Department staff also studied wait times at the intersection during peak times — morning, noon and after work — of the day and found that the average wait for right-turning traffic going from Walker onto Central was about 5.6 seconds.

The average wait for vehicles turning left from Walker onto Central was 13.3 seconds while vehicles turning left from Central onto Walker waited 6.45 seconds.

With wait times minimal and given the volume of traffic, it was determined, from an engineering perspective, that no changes were needed at the intersection.

“What takes precedent, flow or safety?” Coun. Frank Costa

MacDonald told the committee the intersection does not meet the criteria laid out in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices — the manual used by traffic authorities across the country — for a multi-way stop sign.

“It looks like more than half are going over the speed limit,” said Costa.

MacDonald confirmed that 72 per cent of the vehicles counted in the area were travelling faster than 50 km/h.

But, he added, only 15 per cent of those vehicles were travelling at what he deemed to be an excessive speed — more than 69 km/h.

But, when asked if technical services met with police services to discuss safety and enforcement in the area, MacDonald said no.

Committee Coun. Cory Thomas has raised concerns on numerous occasions about speed in the city, especially on Read Drive.

“Stats are showing here that there are problems and stop signs are not always going to solve that,” he added. “We need to look at more enforcement.”

A report on speed in various areas will be coming to council from the technical services department in the coming weeks.

“Here’s an example where, going forward, the engineers do the research and are basing it on speed counts and police make recommendations based on their views on safety,” said Thomas after the meeting.

“What I would like to see before any of these recommendations is that the two departments coming together. They may not always agree but come to some sort of consensus of what’s going to be brought to council.” He added,

“We didn’t get a recommendation from police on the safety of this area, though. They weren’t involved in the process.”

Thomas said council should not be deciding where stop signs go.

Geographic location: Walker Avenue, Summerside, Central Street

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Recent comments

  • Barbara
    September 13, 2012 - 21:47

    If you want to see weird, just go to the new traffic circle. I can't believe how few people know how to signal. Or are they afraid of burning out their signalling lights. If a policeman parked his car there, he could make the city a fortune. They first get on the circle and then they go almost to where they want to go and THEN they signal. HELLO - when I am trying to get on the circle, it helps if I get some idea of where you are going -- and you signal that as you get on the circle please!!! If you are going to turn left, signal left.

  • Summerside Taxpayer
    September 13, 2012 - 17:32

    I would suggest Don, Frank Wooder, Billy Mack, John W Curtis, the homeless guy, and crazy guy walking around wearing a dress form a committee and get to the bottom of this

  • Concerned Taxpayer
    September 13, 2012 - 15:54

    This whole idea of speeding is the direct result of lack enforcement, we have 20 plus Police Officers on our force and seldom see radar or visibility in that area. We see the Chief of Police and Holman window dressing while cleaning stop signs, this is an absolute joke and an embarrassment to the Police Officers. Surely upper management can find more to do other than the work of municipal services. We just went through a review of our Police Force, what ever happened to that, if recommendations are not followed, it was all for nothing. The costs associated to the study, than the 1.3 million dollar fiasco, than the missing Hopping Report, the study at CUP are showing our fine City just the level of mismanagement and lack of leadership. The Old Boys Club is alive and well.

  • don
    September 13, 2012 - 15:06

    what is the police hired for ? laying around ? set up radars give out TICKETS. you pay them force them to work or fire them.

  • intobed
    September 13, 2012 - 13:53

    Putting up stop signs to "slow down traffic" will result in just that: people will slow down and drive right through the stop sign. What you need is law enforcement to do its job, and give out tickets for speeding.

  • Hurried.
    September 13, 2012 - 13:44

    And stop signs are bad for fuel economy. When was the last time there was an accident there? The fact that there have been no problems and people are driving fast should indicate that safety I'd not the issue but the limits are.

  • insanity rules
    September 13, 2012 - 12:53

    I bet they're thinking of putting a roundabout instead!!!!!