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COMMENT: A tale of two traffic lights

#1 Carp at Hazeldean. Residents have been calling for safety fixes at this intersection for years.  City staff says that traffic isn’t heavy enough to justify any configuration changes. Of course, the city’s data doesn’t capture the frustration and near misses that happen all the time at the intersection. A real fix probably won’t come until sometime between 2020-2025, when Carp Road is tentatively scheduled to be widened to four lanes – if there’s money available.

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#2 Maple Grove at Huntmar.  Another intersection where residents have been clamouring for an advance green signal.  This intersection is one of 19 that “meets the warrants” for upgrades due to safety, volume, and other factors.  It would cost $35-million to fix all 19 intersections, but the annual budget available is only $2.4-million.  So this intersection gets punted from the list of fixes for 2018.

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Stittsville’s infrastructure isn’t keeping up to the increased demand due to population growth.  These two intersections are great examples of that. More and more cars make for more and more congestion and safety problems.

When the mayor and councillors celebrate that they’ve delivered a balanced budget with only a 2% tax increase, they do it in part by delaying upgrades like these. I am not saying I want higher taxes (we certainly pay enough!) but I would like to see our politicians be more transparent about what projects they’ve deferred or dropped to balance the books.

(For more on this theme, read this excellent column by David Reevely.)

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POST SCRIPT: Councillor Qadri’s office is running a web poll about a two options to add turning lanes to the Carp-Hazeldean intersection.  He’s using the results to try to convince his colleagues at city hall to add an advance green, even though the “intervention may create new unforeseen problems”.  You have until December 10 to vote for an option. (“Please note that the results of this poll are solely for measuring the input of residents and do not guarantee that either option will be implemented,” according to the web site.)


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