Councillor Jac Siemens brought up at Tuesday’s council meeting that there have been many complaints about the corner of Hespeler St. and Loewen Blvd.
Siemens requested that the city once again look at putting up stop signs.
He says traffic gets backed up at 9am, noon, and it gets the worst when school lets out, so between 3:30 and 4:30pm.
“In the afternoon, it often gets backed up from the corner of Hespeler and Loewen all the way to Lindenhurst because people cannot make a left hand turn off of Hespeler onto Loewen.”
He says this has been an ongoing concern, as they have been hearing complaints for a while.
"We've brought it up in the past and our engineering reports tell us that there are no stop signs needed, no devices needed,” he says. “The issue overall is that it's slowing down traffic and I think we need to review it. We're not traffic engineers as a council, but we do listen to the people that drive through that area regularly.”
City Manager Troy Warkentin says the intersection was reviewed in the city’s annual traffic count program from 2016-2019.
During those years, that intersection’s level of service for turning movements was found to be operating within the tolerance limits and expected level of service for an intersection of that type.
Warkentin says typically the traffic count program will target peak traffic times, which is normally between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM on the monitoring days.
“So if that appears to be where the particular concerns of congestion are occurring, I would have expected that the previous traffic counts that have been completed for that intersection would have captured that level of activity.”
Siemens says a lot could have changed since 2019.
“That's four years ago and potentially I think traffic volumes have changed since the pandemic.”
Councillor Damian Penner adds that it’s important to choose the highest-traffic days to moniter.
“I remember last year observing that one of our traffic dates that they captured was on a Friday that there was no school. So whatever study is done, let's ensure that it's done on a school day and not an in-service day.”
Councillor Jake Hiebert also notes there have been complaints from both drivers and pedestrians.
“I've had a number of complaints, but also there's been concerns by pedestrians of almost getting hit there. So there's not only vehicular, but it's also pedestrian complaints.”
City council has approved the request that the intersection be reviewed, and that council compare the previous traffic study from 2016-2019 with the new traffic study.
The report will come with a recommendation on how to improve the intersection.
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