Traffic lights coming to Huntmar and Maple Grove by end of June

Stop sign at Huntmar and Maple Grove / photo by Glen Gower

UPDATE (June 12): Phil Landry, Manager of Traffic Services for the City of Ottawa, wrote in an email to that the traffic signal is expected to be installed by the middle of July.  In an update provided this week to the Stittsville Village Association, councillor Qadri indicated that design work for the intersection has been completed, and that traffic operations staff are in the process of tendering a standing offer contract for the work.

There’s also an update on the Fairwinds Community Association web page about future plans to extend Maple Grove all the way to Stittsville Main Street in Jackson Trails.

There will be far less cursing and road rage at the intersection of Huntmar and Maple Grove this summer.  City crews are expected to replace the four-way stop with traffic lights by the end of June.

Rush hour motorists heading south on Huntmar usually face a long line of cars at the intersection, sometimes backing up as far as the police station near Palladium.

The traffic volume, coupled with the inability of many drivers to properly navigate a four-way stop, makes for a very frustrating – not to mention dangerous – situation for drivers and pedestrians.

Here’s a note posted to the Fairwinds Community Association web site this week:

At our monthly Fairwinds Community Association, Shad Qadri told us that traffic lights are coming to Huntmar & Maple Grove by the end of June.  They were approved in this year’s city budget.

Also, in a response to a post about the intersection on Facebook, he wrote:
Funding was approved in the City’s budget for this year and City staff have advised it is anticipated the signal for this intersection will be operating this summer. A roundabout was considered for this location but staff identified that roundabout [sic] at this location was not be feasible due to lack of available property on the diagonal between the southeast and northwest corners which would make the provision of a roundabout at this intersection very difficult. If you witness drivers not obey the traffic rules please report this to the Police at 613-236-1222x 7300.”

(Note:’s editor Glen Gower is the president of the Fairwinds Community Association, and is one of those drivers who is frequently frustrated by the intersection.)


3 thoughts on “Traffic lights coming to Huntmar and Maple Grove by end of June”

  1. Lights may work in heavy traffic times – but picture yourself sitting waiting at the red light when it’s fairly quiet.

    Yes, it technically works, but why make people wait? That will be just as frustrating as the 4-way stops – more so when traffic is light.

    The answer is a roundabout.

    Yes, a huge one won’t fit. So make it smaller. They’re all over the UK. They have “mini” roundabouts in the middle of small towns. Some are a symbolic 6-foot well-marked round bump. We can put up a medium-sized roundabout here and keep traffic flowing better than it ever has.

    Why not do a pilot and test it? Roundabouts are the future. One day, everyone will be comfortable with them. They keep traffic flowing. They use no electricity. They save gas (little or no idling). They’re better for the environment.

    Yes, we’ve asked Shad Qadri top look into this, and he tried – the city says it won’t fit.

    Let’s try harder. Let’s put a hold on the lights, and put in a temporary “small” roundabout as a pilot and see how it works. If it doesn’t work, then do the lights. If it does work, upgrade it to a permanent one.

    The roundabout at Shea Road and Fernbank is working just fine. The one at Rosehill and Huntmar is working fine. And also the new one at Huntmar and Campeau is working. Traffic is flowing.

    Please don’t make me wait at a red light there. People (including me) turn and go up some of the side streets to avoid it. Is that what we want?

    I’ve driven extensively in the UK – I can attest that these things work very well.

    Let’s start catching up.

  2. As someone who lives in Fairainds, I can tell you that the traffic circle at Huntmar and Rosehill does not work well. Drivers cutting through the neighbourhood assume they have the right of way into the traffic circle, even when there is already traffic there. It is common to hear car horns and screeching tires everyday. The other good reason for traffic lights is that this would provide a place for pedestrians to cross safely as in Ontario pedestrians do not have the right of way when crossing near a traffic circle. A second traffic circle would mean that pedestrians would have no safe place to cross Huntmar between Hazeldean and Palladium.

  3. Hopefully the new lights will have some intelligence in them. The cycle of the light should be somewhat influenced by the volume of traffic – it shouldn’t be a fixed duration. There are tech solutions that can make lights workable without being a cause of endless frustration.

    But, sadly, knowing the city of Ottawa doesn’t tend to make the right solution, I expect we’ll be saddled with a dumb system.

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