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Niagara Falls
Thursday, June 20, 2024
Council adds four-way stop in Village, despite staff suggestion for study first

Lord Mayor Betty Disero pushed through a motion Monday to install a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Garrison Village Drive, Perez Road and Jordan Street, at the request of residents of the Village neighbourhood.

She took issue with town staff's desire to do a study to see if the stop sign was warranted.

“Why spend thousands of dollars to find out it’s not warranted? Just put it up and see how it goes,” she said in an interview Tuesday.

“I think it’s a good compromise for everyone all around. We’re not creating a safety hazard, we’re actually making it a little safer.” 

At Monday's committee of the whole general meeting, Garrison Village Community Association president Mona Babin presented on behalf of residents of the village. She addressed growing safety concerns in the area as it continues to be built up.

“Our prime objective is safety,” Babin told councillors. The committee unanimously passed the proposal.

The intersection is just past the Shoppers Drug Mart plaza.

Nearly half of the village residents are paying members of the association and the organization says it represents nearly 100 per cent of the residents in the area.

A survey by the association asked residents whether they would like a stop sign installed in the intersection and 82 per cent of the 197 respondents said yes.

“I know that normally there’s guidelines of where not to put a stop sign and normally I’m the first one to not want to interrupt my drive when I want to get somewhere,” Babin said.

“But (the Village) is growing. And It’s growing with a medical centre, it’s growing with a future grocery,” she said.

There is also an apartment complex going up at the east end of Garrison Village Drive, increasing concerns of growing traffic and adding construction traffic into the mix.

Town staff’s original recommendation to address safety concerns in the area consisted of moving no parking signs at the intersection in discussion north 20 metres on Garrison Village Drive. The goal of that proposal was to increase visibility at the intersection.

When the recommendation came forward in February, the community association told the town that residents had not requested the sign change and asked for it to be deferred. Later, the association asked that stop signs be installed instead.

“There are a number of homes with very small garages and so street parking is essential. And it’s also proven, and that’s based on conversations I’ve had with (developer) John Hawley and also staff, to slow down traffic,” Babin said.

While increased noise from idling cars can be a disturbance to some residents, survey respondents were told that would be a byproduct of the stop signs, and 82 per cent agreed to the idea anyway.

“As you know, when things change people have to get used to it. So, the sooner the better in my book,” Babin told council.

And while the request was amicably received, director of operations for NOTL Sheldon Randall preferred to conduct a study before interfering with existing traffic flow in the area.

“I think we all agree that pedestrian traffic is going to become an issue over time. I don’t think we have the data yet that would back up putting in a four-way stop at this point,” he told council.

The idea of delaying the stop sign installation did not sit right with Disero.

“I’ve never seen before a municipality that is so interested in studying before putting up a stop sign. Just put it in! It happens all the time in every municipality,” Disero said.

“What bothers me is that to do a study, to figure out how to analyze it – it costs a lot of money.”

Disero introduced a motion to implement the stop signs as soon as possible.

“If residents feel after a time that we shouldn’t have done this, then we remove it,” she told The Lake Report

The next step is for staff to introduce a bylaw that allows the signs to be installed. “I’m hoping it will come to council on Monday,” Disero said.

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