editionap.ca Safety concerns top St-Joseph Street refit plan gŏđŏ
jor crossing points, and/or having elevated pavement at some intersections. These me- thods would allow regular and steady traffic flow along the route but would also present obstacles to drivers tempted to rush from one end of St-Joseph Street to the other. Meanwhile the city’s bylaw enforcement department is also looking at testing out some low-cost ideas this year for improving traffic safety near schools in the neighbou- rhood. Temporary “pedestrian markers” will appear along the section of St-Joseph Street passing in front of École Ste-Trinité and the slope of the hill leading up to that school. The markers give approaching motorists the impression that the road is narrowing and they will then slow down on their ap-
Three schools, including two elementary, are located along St-Joseph Street. Safety concerns for students walking to and from school on foot or biking are behind some of the changes under consideration for a major refit of the road scheduled for next year. City staff will host a second public infor- mation session for area residents and other interested parties either this fall or early next year to present a preliminary design draft for review and comment. proach. The markers can be taken down during early winter to allow regular snow removal work to proceed. City administra- tion would also consult with the two school districts involved on the overall traffic de- sign plan.
ROCKLAND | St-Joseph Street is due for reconstruction starting next summer and traffic safety dominates the concerns of both city staff and neighbourhood resi- dents during the concept planning stage. More than a dozen neighbourhood resi- dents turned out for a Wednesday evening open house July 2 in the mezzanine at the Jean-Marc Lalonde Arena. One of the main topics discussed was traffic safety with emphasis on safeguarding children and other pedestrians from motorists speeding through the school zones but Gilles Maran- da, the city’s infrastructure director, noted during a later interview that a redesign for St. Joseph Street can address other needs too. “We have a chance right now to do some- thing,” he said. Three schools are located close by each other on St. Joseph Street. École élémen- taire Sainte-Trinité sits at the top of the short hill from the Laurier Street intersec- tion while Rockland Public School (RPS) and Rockland District High School (RDHS) are a couple blocks further south along the street close to the Morris subdivision. The city’s 2005 Strategic Transportation Plan (STP) identifies St-Joseph Street as a two-lane road, about a kilometre in length that serves as the connector between Laurier Street and the downtown and the neighbourhood around the schools. The most recent studies for the city recom- mend redeveloping St-Joseph Street into a through-street that leads south from Laurier and links with the future east-west connector which planned to serve as an al- ternate commuter route around the down- town and help relieve traffic congestion on County Road 17 through Rockland. The goal now, Maranda said, is to extend the north end of St. Joseph Street past its present Silver Lane link with the Morris sub- division and connect it to Jérôme Corbeil. That would create a single smooth traffic route for school buses bringing in students from the outlying villages to the three neighbourhood schools and also to L’Escale around the corner on Du Parc Street. Turning St-Joseph Street into a through- road could still mean some potential traffic safety problems. There are already com- plaints about some motorists driving too fast through the school zones, including along the blind hill approach to École Ste- Trinité. Both city staff and several neighbou- rhood residents raised those concerns du- ring the Wednesday evening open house. The situation is even more serious nowwith all public schools in Ontario switching over to all-day kindergarten programs, and seve- ral school districts offering local daycare programs through some of their schools. “There are ways of slowing traffic,”Maran- da said. The city’s infrastructure and engineering department is working on details for a plan- ned reconstruction project for St-Joseph Street, slated to start next year during the summer. Some design ideas that may get serious consideration for slowing down speeding motorists include setting up traf- fic signals, using roundabouts in place of the traditional four-way intersection at ma-
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