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UCPR cool to pedestrian crossing improvements in Clarence-Rockland, roundabouts coming to Russell, traffic study recommended for Limoges

The United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) is reluctant to install advanced pedestrian crosswalks along County Road 17, at four intersections where the roadway bypasses Rockland.

Advanced crosswalks – also known as leading pedestrian intervals – give pedestrians more time to cross busy roads. The intersections where they would be installed are at Chamberland Street, the entrance to Manoir Rockland, Edwards Street, and Caron Street.

When the UCPR Public Works Committee met on May 12, Interim Director of Public Works Jérémie Bouchard said the City of Clarence-Rockland had raised the issue before and this time requested the advanced crosswalks be installed.

Bouchard said the UCPR Department of Public Works made changes to the timing on the pedestrian crossings in 2019, but the ongoing problem is that most people do not press the button on the traffic light pole – which would give them more time to cross the road. Bouchard said his department has not received any complaints about the Rockland pedestrian crossings and questioned who is complaining at the city level.

Bouchard said installing the advanced crossings would have a major impact on traffic flow along County Road 17. He suggested the city direct any complaints to the UCPR Department of Public Works so personnel can meet pedestrians on site and show them how to use the crossings properly. Bouchard also suggested that Clarence-Rockland install proper sidewalks at some of the intersections.

The committee recommended that the department further investigate pedestrian crossing timing at the intersections.

Roundabouts and development charges

On May 12, the UCPR Public Works Committee recommended the approval plans for future roundabouts at the intersection of County Road 28 and Route 300, and at the intersection of County Road 5 and Route 300 in Russell Township.

Bouchard said the township is funding its portion of the projects through revenue from development charges. He said the UCPR is having to pay for its portion out of the regular budget and suggested the UCPR introduce development charges to offset the cost of infrastructure improvements resulting from development.

Limoges traffic study

The UCPR Public Works Commitee has requested that La Nation and Russell Township participate with the UCPR on a Community Traffic Impact Study for Limoges and equally share the cost. The committee also recommended the study be added to the 2021 UCPR budget if both municipalities agree to share the cost of the study.

At the May 12 committee meeting, Bouchard said the municipalities may be able to pay for their portion using development charges, but the UCPR will have to use regular taxation because it does not have development charges. Bouchard said the study is necessary because of the significant amount of development around Limoges.

Bouchard said developers are supposed to do their own traffic impact studies, but there is often insufficient communication between developers on the details of those studies because they are in competition with each other.

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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