Fast traffic persists in St. Davids and residents are asking the region to help slow things down.
Dan Segal, president of the St. Davids Ratepayers Association, said his fellow residents have been concerned about the congestion and speed along York and Four Mile Creek roads ever since he joined the association two years ago.
“The residents of St. Davids request that a community safety zone be created along the segment of Four Mile Creek Road that passes through our community,” Segal wrote in a letter to Niagara Region, which is responsible for the road.
While there is an existing safety zone on York Road – where the speed is set to 40 kilometres per hour during peak hours and fines are increased – the residents want another one on the intersecting regional road.
Many residents have children who attend the nearby St. Davids Public School on York Road, Segal told The Lake Report.
They worry about how safe their kids are crossing the regional road on their way to school, he said.
Crossing Four Mile Creek Road, Segal said, is a “little bit like playing Frogger.”
“That’s been an issue since we’ve moved in,” he added.
Segal’s family has live in in the neighbourhood since 2018 and he has a newborn plus two older kids, ages five and seven, who will be attending St. Davids this fall.
“I wouldn’t want them crossing that road at this point,” he said.
He said the cars move pretty quickly along Four Mile Creek Road and the sightlines aren’t always good because of a bend in the road.
There are crosswalks for pedestrians on York Road, near the school, Segal said.
But there are none on Four Mile Creek Road, even though many St. Davids students and senior residents living in Creekside Senior Estates need to venture across.
“I think having students who live in the community able to walk to school is great and we want to promote that,” he added.
The residents of St. Davids struggled with the region last September when it brought in bike bollards on Four Mile Creek Road to help slow traffic.
While Segal said he wasn’t for or against the measure, he appreciated that the region was taking residents’ concerns seriously.
Niagara-on-the-Lake Coun. Adriana Vizzari said she supports the ratepayer association’s activism.
Vizzari is a resident of St. Davids and has four children attending St. Davids Public School.
“There’s over 400 kids going to that school, so speed is an issue,” she said.
Rather than dwelling on the traffic risks to her kids and those of her neighbours, Vizzari said she’d “rather be proactive.”
She pointed out that the region deems Four Mile Creek Road to be “unsafe” and as such, she has the option of sending her kids to school by bus, even though they live one kilometre away.
“We walk often,” she said. “Without a parent, it’s not possible.”
Vizzari said Four Mile Creek Road is treacherous to cross as an adult.
She pointed out there are several businesses in St. Davids that front on the busy regional road, and drivers frequently have to brake as they turn left into the driveways and parking lots.
This causes drivers behind them to mount the shoulder in an effort to pass.
Without sidewalks, Vizzari said the shoulders are used by bikers and pedestrians who frequent the area.
People interested in supporting the residents’ efforts can sign the petition at the association’s website.