DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Scugog council is expected to discuss possibly amending their all-way stop warrant policy at a meeting in January.
At a meeting on Monday, December 16th, council saw a report which recommended creating a four-way stop at the intersection of Union Avenue and Victoria Street/Earl Cuddie Boulevard. However, Ward 5 Councillor Lance Brown made a motion to add the creation of another four-way stop, at the intersection of Perry Street and North Street.
“I’ve been in touch with a number of residents on Perry Street,” Councillor Brown explained. “[The all way stop] is not recommended, but I’d like to see if we can change that. I’d like to thank [director Carol Coleman] for her diligence as always, but I question a warrant analysis that hasn’t been updated in 15 years.”
Councillor Brown’s motion was later passed, meaning the township will have two more four-way stops to install. There was much conversation on the warrant policy itself and the value of four-way stops.
“There needs to be a warrant review,” said Councillor Brown.
Scugog Director of Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Carol Coleman, later confirmed the policy was last updated in 2005, but stated that after looking at the policy she believes there’s “nothing [she] would really change at this point. I don’t think there’s been many changes in traffic engineering in regards to stop signs since that time,” Ms. Coleman said.
Ms. Coleman also explained some negatives that could happen from installing too many stop signs in communities. “People start disrespecting them if there’s too many of them, they create false sense of security, environmental impacts as you’re using more gas for stopping and going, you get frustrated drivers. There’s a lot of reasons why you have to think twice before putting a stop sign in.”
Though, Ward 3 Councillor Angus Ross said he feels there is “a disconnect between what council had voted previously and what [he’s] hearing from the community” regarding the four-way stop policy.
Ward 1 Councillor Ian McDougall brought up the differences between Scugog’s policy and the City of Toronto’s, and stated he felt there should be a review of the warrant policy.
Councillor Ross questioned how to bridge the gap between Ms. Coleman’s “engineering opinion” and the community’s concerns.
“It’s not just my engineering opinion. Traffic engineers across Ontario have this same philosophy. [All-way stops] are not the solution to everything,” Ms. Coleman responded. “I don’t support anything that goes against these principles that everyone is using.”
CAO Paul Allore defended Ms. Coleman. “I think the director has explained herself numerous times in the last half hour. If council don’t wish to follow the direction of staff, make a decision. Staff have put forward their best professional advice, and council can act accordingly,” he said.
Councillor McDougall brought up a motion to have staff conduct a review of the warrant analysis policy. However, Mr. Allore asked the councillor to provide staff with further direction on what he’s looking for with the review, so Councillor McDougall pulled his motion for the time being, with plans to bring it up as a notice of motion at the next council meeting.