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Safety is crucial for busy intersection

Web posted on June 21, 2006

Dear Editor;

It has been three weeks since the Traffic Information meeting for the corner of Woolwich and Woodlawn took place. The two main issues raised by the public were:

Pedestrian safety - there is no sidewalk on the WalMart side of Woodlawn. Pedestrians including those using scooters will have to use the WalMart parking lot as a sidewalk. Combine this with motorists cutting through the parking lot to avoid the increased wait time at the lights and this will result in a dangerous situation.

There are 10 access lanes from businesses all within approximately 300 to 400 feet of the lights at Woodlawn and Woolwich Streets. Well, 11 counting a private residence. We were told the maximum number of lanes will be five including the merge lanes. No special lights will be installed to handle the increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic flow. We were told that 'no left on red signs' don't really work because drivers don't pay attention to them.

People asked if the traffic lights on Woodlawn can be synchronized and can lights with longer than normal walk times be installed? There were no clear answers to these questions.

People asked for an island boulevard for pedestrians to rest at if they can't make across the five lanes of traffic could be installed. Apparently not.

This area has the highest concentration of seniors in Guelph. Most who raised these issues were seniors. Anyone attending this meeting would have realized these questions were raised by intelligent individuals with legitimate concerns.

So far none of these important issues has been addressed.

We were told the meeting was being recorded and comment sheets would be used to deal with public concerns. So far no answers have been given; no feed back from the comment sheets has been heard.

This information meeting needed to be more. These people deserve to see action taken to ensure their safety as they go about their daily lives. All of this could have been dealt with publicly long before now. This meeting could have shown the results of positive public input in dealing with our residents' safety, and yes it is too late to deal with past issues. But even at this late stage the safety of people should be the highest priority.

Vicki Beard


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