A draft review conducted by the Town of Amherst’s traffic authority is recommending the removal of 67 of the town’s 177 crosswalks.
The review was started in 2017 after it became clear there was a lack of consistency in the application of crosswalks within the town. Council tasked Chief Ian Naylor, the town’s traffic authority, to assess the current process used to approve crosswalks, as well as conduct a review of the existing crosswalks and provide recommendations on the retention, removal, installation of new crosswalks and the type of pedestrian controls required.
A committee consisting of Naylor, Staff Sgt. Scott White, Public Works Operations Manager Aaron Bourgeois and University of Moncton engineering student Brandon LeBlanc was established to conduct the review.
The review included a site visit to each crosswalk location. The committee also referenced the Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act, and the Transport Association of Canada’s Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide.
The TAC guide provides recommended guidelines developed through the review of best practices in Canada. The information obtained from these sources was used to develop the criteria used to assess whether an existing crosswalk should be retained or removed and when a new crosswalk should be installed.
“Safety is the number one factor in the criteria we developed,” Naylor said.
The criteria will be used in the review to determine where crosswalks should or shouldn’t be located and will be followed in the future whenever a new application for a crosswalk is made. Having one of the criteria may not be enough to retain or remove a crosswalk. Each location is assessed individually based on the totality of the circumstances.
The review determined that 67 existing crosswalks should be removed, one crosswalk should be relocated and six new crosswalks should be installed.
Naylor said he is unaware of a crosswalk review taking place since he joined the department in 1988. Public works will begin removing the crosswalks this month.
A public meeting is scheduled for July 17 at the Community Credit Union Business Innovation Centre beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Information will be provided on the changes and the public will be able to provide feedback on the changes. The committee will review the public feedback and assess whether any changes should be made.
Criteria to retain or install a new sidewalk established by the committee includes:
- Connecting a sidewalk at an intersection with a through highway.
- close to a seniors or youth facility,
- in a school zone or event site.
- High volume of motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic
- crosswalk crosses a multi-lane/complex intersection,
- three- or four-way stop,
- within the downtown zone as designated by the committee
- or located at an intersection that had traffic lights.
Criteria for removing a crosswalk or denying a request for a new one included:
- crosswalks that end on the side of a road where there was no sidewalk
- low volume of motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic
- within 100 metres of another crosswalk or controlled intersection
- a mid-block crossing
- the street being crossed is at an intersection with a through highway that has a stop or yield signs
- inconsistent with similar locations
- crosswalk was connected to private property or a parking lot.
The crosswalks recommend for removal are located at: (the first named street is the one the crosswalk crosses)
- Spring Street at Regent Street
- Lusby Street at Victoria Street
- Victoria Street at Mill Street
- Terrace Street at Victoria Street
- Lawrence Street at LaPlanche Street (south side of intersection)
- Lawrence Street at LaPlanche Street (north side of intersection)
- Lawrence Street at Erncliffe Street
- Lawrence Street - midblock by Shear Impressions
- LaPlanche Street – midblock about 10 metres north of Dale Street
- Dale Street at Eddy Street
- Eddy Street at Dale Street
- Copp Avenue at Victoria Street
- Victoria Street at Cop Avenue
- Agnew Street at Regent Street
- Agnew Street at Rupert Street
- Queen Street at Academy Street
- Havelock Street at Clifford Street
- Clifford Street at Havelock Street
- Havelock Street at Belmont Street
- Belmont Street at Havelock Street
- Agnew Street at Havelock Street
- Havelock Street at Princess Street (North side only)
- Princess Street at Havelock Street
- King Street at Havelock Street
- Ratchford Street at Havelock Street
- Ratchford Street at Acadia Street
- Acadia Street at Four Father’s Library
- Prince Arthur Street at Acadia Street ( West side only)
- Acadia Street at Prince Arthur Street
- Robie Street at Church Street
- Belmont Street at Church Street
- Clifford Street at Church Street
- Queen Street at Church Street
- Dickey Street at Church Street
- Beacon Street at Church Street
- Church Street at East Pleasant Street (North side only)
- Academy Street at East Pleasant Street
- Charles Street at East Pleasant Street
- Croft Street at Spring Street (x2)
- Albion Street at Spring Street
- Queen Street at Albion Street
- Albion Street at Queen Street
- Ottawa Street at South Albion Street
- Admore Street at South Ablion Street
- Edgewood Avenue at South Albion Street
- Clinton Street at South Albion Street
- Chamberlain Street at Newtown Avenue
- Hickman Street at Mission Street (North side only)
- Mission Street at Hickman Street ( West side only)
- Minto Street at Hickman Street
- Hickman at Minto Street
- Dondonald Avenue at Hickman Street
- Crescent Avenue and Albion Street
- Maple Avenue at East Victoria Street
- Acadia Street at Victoria Street
- Herbert Street at Victoria Street
- Private Entrance at 122 and 131 East Pleasant Street (x2)
- South Albion Street entrance to Superstore (x2)
- South Albion Street private entrances to business (x6)
New crosswalks are being recommended at
- Cornwall Street at Anson Avenue (west side)
- Croft Street at Beacon Street
- Beacon Street at Croft Street (x2)
- Dickie @ Rupert
- Elmwood Drive at Willow (west side)