City must improve pedestrian safety
Signage at the approach to passenger crossings will have to comply with new Ministry of Transport (MTQ) standards within five years. The Ville de Sherbrooke, although happy to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, is receiving cold instructions from the MTQ. It takes more time, and especially financial help, to comply.
In Sherbrooke, more than 180 passages for people are listed. Upgrading to signage will cost approximately $ 5 million. All signs will have to be replaced, signage will have to be doubled and new lighting requirements and a number of lanes will come into effect. Push-button flashing rectangular flashing lights should be added in some cases.
“In June 2019, the Department of Transport came to us with its big hooves to ask us to significantly correct the standards in force regarding the signaling of passenger crossings. It represents for a period of five years a budget of $ 5 million. We found that a lot, especially since there were no subsidies that accompanied this request. So, in 2020, we allocated $ 150,000 to prepare studies and see how we can navigate that. We will be lobbying with the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ) to find out if the department is imposing things on us and accompanying them with money, “commented Danielle Berthold, chair of the public safety committee.
“We like that to be the norm and that security is respected, but when it happens without the City has had time to decide, it’s a little more complicated. ”
“This is a file imposed on us without subsidies. ”
– Steve Lussier
In its plan, the City plans to spend $ 250,000 in 2021 and about $ 1.5 million for the last three years, which will be under a new City Council.
Mayor Steve Lussier confirms that he will submit the file to the UMQ in the big city caucus. “This is a file imposed on us without subsidies. We will go ahead with this deposit to see the reaction of the other cities that, I imagine, will support us in the process. ”
Évelyne Beaudin agreed that the government should do its part to help municipalities. “The new signage is very effective. I meet two of them often on my way, those of intersections Wood and Portland and Wilson and Portland. Especially in the evening, it makes a huge difference to security. It is a good thing that we are moving towards securing our pedestrian crossings. ”
She is concerned, however, about the disappearance of the bicycle pictogram on these signs. “Do not forget cyclists. We must make sure that we have facilities so that the crossing is easy without asking cyclists to behave like pedestrians. We could think about having a bike lane parallel to pedestrian crossings to have a good fluidity. ”
Annie Godbout agrees, saying that an average of $ 70,000 should be invested at intersections with crossings for people. “It’s true that it’s expensive. If we can have more time to achieve it, citizens will win. ”
It also demonstrates the effectiveness of lighting and rectangular lights installed on René-Lévesque Boulevard. “We want this type of infrastructure in several places, such as the corner Mi-Vallon and Pavillon, where it’s terribly black in winter. This is the type of infrastructure that will secure people walking on our streets. “