Traffic signals at Huntmar and Maple Grove won’t be installed until at least 2015. They were originally expected to be installed at this busy intersection in spring 2014. We sent a letter to Mayor Jim Watson and City Councillor Shad Qadri outlining our community concerns. The original letter and Shad’s response are included below.
Here’s how you can help:
We encourage all residents to email our Mayor and City Councillor to let them know about safety concerns regarding the four-way stop. We’ve heard from a lot of residents that it’s a dangerous intersection, not to mention the inconvenience to rush hour traffic and OC Transpo buses.
You can send your emails to:
Our original letter to Mayor Watson, copied to Shad Qadri
July 8, 2014
I am writing on behalf of the Fairwinds Community Association to express our disappointment and concern regarding the delay in installing traffic signals at the corner of Huntmar and Maple Grove. Councillor Shad Qadri informed the community in May that the traffic signals, originally planned to be installed in 2014, would be delayed until at least 2015.
This delay is unacceptable to our residents. Our community has frequently alerted the City and our councillor about safety and traffic issues at the intersection, including:
- The stop lines and pedestrian crossing lines are not well-marked, and stop signs are set back from the actual intersection, making it hazardous for pedestrians to cross.
- The intersection is 1km from Canadian Tire Centre and experiences significant traffic before and after events. (Police are dispatched after every event to direct traffic at this intersection.)
- Traffic is frequently backed up between Palladium and Maple Grove in the morning and afternoon. It often takes 10-15 minutes to travel less than 1km southbound during afternoon rush hour, impacting both car commuters and OC Transpo buses.
- Drivers often do not obey the 4-way stop signs and there have been collisions at this intersection.
- Huntmar Road is used by many Stittsville and Kanata vehicles (including truck and construction traffic) as a cut-through to travel to-and-from Highway 417. There are no signalled crossings for pedestrians whatsoever in this residential area on Huntmar.
We are requesting from the City:
1. An explanation as to why this project was delayed.
2. A clear timeline outlining when traffic signals will be added to this intersection.
3. A review as to whether a roundabout/traffic circle would be appropriate for this intersection (instead of traffic lights).
4. Have city crews review current signage and pavement markings at the 4-way stop to ensure that stop lines and pedestrian markings are clear.
5. Ongoing monitoring by Ottawa Police to ensure that the 4-way stop rules are being respected by drivers.
Fairwinds Community Association
July 9, 2014
Mr. Gower, thanks for including me in your message to Mayor Watson. I am sorry to hear that some drivers are not obeying the traffic rules in place for an all way stop as it their responsibility to do so. As I mentioned in my weekly electronic column recently, I can confirm that traffic control signals are warranted at the intersection, however we do not have a firm date for when these will be implemented. Modifications at this intersection were listed in the budget for the New Traffic Control Signals program for 2014, however these modifications were below the “cut off line”, meaning that though we would like to upgrade the traffic control at this intersection, we did not have funds to do so in 2014. The inclusion of Huntmar/Maple Grove on the budget sheet indicates that this location is one that will likely be prioritized for funding in future years ahead of locations found to be warranted for signals between now and next year’s budget, however we cannot guarantee at this point that signals will be implemented next year.
Traffic staff have taken into consideration the concerns of residents and also concerns by Canadian Tire Place in requiring this intersection to be signalized. As a result of further review with the Mayor’s office and senior staff, over the next couple months the City will undertake preliminary design work required for the Huntmar and Maple Grove intersection. This will ensure the project is ready to move forward as soon as funding is available for the project. Discussions are also ongoing to explore possibilities for funding to be allocated this year for the project.
Until the traffic lights are installed, some drivers blatantly ignoring the all way stop at this intersection and on all City streets ,is a safety issue that the Ottawa Police Service and I take very seriously. As I advise all residents contacting me about stop sign running, I do hope this is being reported to Police. If not, when you witness this type of traffic infraction at this location, it would be most helpful if possible to get a license plate number and or make of the vehicle causing the infraction. I do understand that this is not always easy. However I do encourage you to contact the Ottawa Police Call Centre at 613-236-1222 Ext 7300 with any details available and to at the very least bring this dangerous violation to their attention. Call Centre agents are available 7 days a week from 6 am until 2am to take down as much detail as you can provide. Once your report is taken, you will be provided with a case number and the report will be assigned to the area traffic enforcement section for follow-up. A police officer will then contact you in relation to their action.
The more you and other motorists call when witnessing these dangerous infractions occurring the more the area will be viewed as a potential hot spot for the Ottawa Police to monitor. Issuing tickets is one of the best ways to get the point across to an irresponsible driver that he/she is responsible to obey all the traffic rules under the Highway Traffic Act.
Several residents also wrote in inquiring if a roundabout could be installed at this location. This was looked into but unfortunately there was not enough land available to do so.
Until the traffic lights go in at this intersection, certainly all motorists should be cognizant and aware of the traffic laws in place when travelling through an all way intersection. Mr. Gower, please be assured that I will continue to press for signalization at this intersection sooner rather than later. I will be updating residents on any new details/development on this through my weekly electronic column, my column in The Stittsville News, and on my website, located at www.shadqadri.com.