Two new all-way stops being added to campus look to improve safety for all in areas where high volumes of pedestrian and vehicular traffic intersect, Facilities Management officials announced today.
The first location will be on Middlesex Drive at the Middlesex College entrance. The location, already adorned with pedestrian crossing lines painted on the asphalt, will now require all vehicles heading west along Middlesex Drive to come to a full stop and only go when the crosswalk is unoccupied.
“When evaluating where we can improve pedestrian safety, the crossing on Middlesex Drive is an obvious spot for an all-way stop,” explained Elizabeth Krische, Associate Vice-President (Facilities Management). “We recognize that through traffic, delivery trucks and buses are often using that route and the stop is an added measure of security for those needing to cross the road.”
The crosswalk is currently a popular crossing that connects many of the buildings along Perth Drive, such as Visual Arts and North Campus Building, with the core of campus. Between classes, the crosswalk can become crowded. Middlesex Drive is also a heavily used route for traffic passing through campus, as well as the central hub for public transit.
The second location will be located at the entrance of the South Valley parking lot along Huron Drive. The new stop signs will help calm this stretch of road, make getting in and out of the parking lot easier, and prioritize pedestrian traffic, Krische said.
“The location along Huron Drive is unique in that it’s busy during special events at the stadium, is on a tight corner, and is right beside the Student Recreation Centre,” she continued. “There are large fluctuations in the volume of people and vehicles in this location and it will benefit from a change of pace.”
Krische stressed calming traffic and providing pedestrian priority space is at the forefront of Western’s Open Space Strategy. Recent projects, such as the Alumni Circle reconfiguration and the addition of Kent Walk to the summit of University College Hill, are shining examples of putting pedestrians first.