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Dec. 3, 2021 | Friday
Local News
Fix It: Drivers refuse to stop at parkside intersection
Most. drivers ignore the stop at on Niagara Boulevard at Vincent Avenue. This car actually stopped, but three of the next four treated it as a yield. – they slowed. down but kept on going. (Kevin Maclean/Niagara Now)

Amelie Robinson is worried a pedestrian is going to get hurt trying to cross Niagara Boulevard at Ryerson Park in NOTL.

It’s a busy area, popular for picnic, peaceful lake views and the best sunsets in town. But it’s also a key lakeside thoroughfare for many locals. 

The problem is that drivers westbound along Niagara Boulevard seldom obey their stop sign at Vincent Avenue. It is an admittedly odd intersection as Niagara Boulevard sweeps around the park at Vincent and up to Shakespeare Avenue in the west end of Old Town. 

There is a stop for traffic on Vincent but the eastbound vehicles on Niagara Boulevard have the right of way, with no stop sign for them. That’s not really the problem, though.

“I walk everyday around Chautaqua and Ryerson Park but I feel very unsafe once I arrive at the intersection,” said Robinson, who lives a few houses up on Vincent.

“The stop sign on Niagara Boulevard is absolutely not marked on the road and no one stops. They just keep going, admire the view and do not pay attention to anybody walking or in a car on Vincent Avenue trying to go.”

“I have missed being hit by a car about twice already crossing to go to the park due to cars not slowing down and stopping at the stop sign.”

She’s not the only one. As a nearby resident, I’ve had the same experience several times and heard from others with the same concerns. Traffic on Niagara Boulevard seldom stops at the sign – sometimes just gunning right through, oblivious to the stop, or more often just treating it as a yield and coasting through.

During a thoroughly unscientific, one-hour observation of the intersection, I noted 23 cars westbound on Niagara. Only six actually stopped and two of those were turning left onto Vincent and had to wait for oncoming traffic. One of the most obedient drivers was in a Town of NOTL red truck. He came to a complete stop, paused and moved on.

Robinson suggests the town monitor the intersection and find a way to enforce the stop before someone gets hurt.

Meanwhile, an interim solution might be pretty simple: a bucket of white paint.

There is no stop line painted on the pavement and the only other stop on this stretch is at the clock town in Old Town, more than two kilometres away.

Of course, not all low-traffic, residential roads get full-fledged stop lines and signs. But it would appear that adding a wide strip of white paint to the blacktop at this one might give drivers a stronger visual than the clearly visible, but largely ignored, stop sign.

Or maybe a three-way stop is the safest solution.

What sayeth the town? We’ll let you know.

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