"Slow down and obey the rules of the road"

Intersection dangerous: residents

Nov 09, 2007

A local woman is calling on the Town to put a four-way stop at a south Milton intersection after her house was struck by a car on the weekend for the second time in five months.

Yates Drive resident Denise Dawes said people have been using her street as “their own little speedway” and ignoring the rules of the road, particularly around the corner of Yates and March Crossing. Her home is the second house in from the intersection.

“To have my house hit twice in a five-month period is a great indication that nobody is obeying the two stop signs that are there,” she said.

“I think it’s time that the (Town) planners rethink their decision about placing a four-way stop sign at this location. I’m living proof that there should be something there.” Dawes said while the first accident caused more damage to her house than the car that struck it, this time around one of the people in the vehicle required medical attention.

“I’m hoping and praying there isn’t a third time,” she said. “Frankly, I don’t want to come home and find my house surrounded by police tape because someone has lost their life due to the carelessness of some impatient driver.”

Town Engineering Services Director Paul Cripps said a traffic count was done at the intersection around 2005. At that point, the warrants weren’t met to implement an all-way stop.

He noted that another count will take place within the next two to three weeks provided the Town receives a formal request for it from the public. Dawes told the Champion she will be making such a request.

In addition to Dawes, local resident Mike Cluett — who has been a strong advocate for local road safety — thinks something needs to be done to rectify the situation at Yates Drive and March Crossing. He said he’s heard from residents in the area who either want a four-way stop at the intersection or even speed bumps.

“There are a number of options we’d like to look at,” he remarked. “(I support) anything that will make it safer for kids.”

Cluett also pointed out that traffic problems such as these aren’t just isolated to the one intersection. “There are problems on a number of streets in the new area of Milton,” he said. “We need to see what we can do to make streets safer.”

And as for Dawes, she has a simple message for those who speed down her street: “Slow down and obey the rules of the road.”

Melanie Hennessey can be reached at mhennessey@miltoncanadianchampion.com

Yates Drive and March Crossing

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Just the mere mention of that intersection causes many residents in the area to roll their eyes.

Why? We have seen many near misses of vehicles driving down Yates from Thompson Road with cars coming out of March Crossing. This weekend was no different.

Lets go back in time to this past summer around the dinner hour. Local residents were brought out of their homes with the sounds of screeching tires, loud thumps and a big bang. What had happened was a car traveling north on Yates Drive towards Bennett Blvd. at what witnesses describe as “over the speed limit”, narrowly missing a vehicle coming out on March Crossing into the intersection. This car swerved to miss that car, lost control and jumped the curb on the opposite side of the road and smash into a house. Luckily there was no one hurt, the car sustained some damage and the bay window of the home was damaged.

For those of us who live in the area know, kids are walking up and down the sidewalk heading to their friends homes or to the local parks and thank God no one was there was this happened.

Now, we go back to this past Saturday and the almost exact situation happened again. A car traveling up Yates Drive from Thompson Road heading towards Bennett Blvd. driving up the street, narrowly misses a car coming out from March Crossing, loses control and jumps the curb on the opposite side and hits the same house in almost the identical spot.

Enough is enough. Im not one person who favours putting stop signs at every intersection or reducing speed when there is no justification. Something has to change before any other home or God forbid, someone is injured or killed.

The speed limit on Yates Drive is 50km/hr. During last falls election campaign, I spoke with many people about community safety and what we as citizens can do to make our streets safer. Many of you favoured reducing the speed limit on streets. Is that enough?

Would a 40km/hr speed limit saved this home owner from yet another insurance claim and time away from their lives to repair the damage to their home that someone else caused? Maybe.

If the speed limit was reduced it might be cause for the driver to make sure they slow down. Who really knows.

Would a stop sign have done the trick? Again, who knows. If drivers know there is a stop sign approaching at that intersection, would they reduce their speed before they come to March Crossing?

Possibly. Only if people open their eyes and realize our residential and town roads are not speedways.

It’s frustrating to live in an area such as this with such amazing neighbours and people living in the subdivision to have to deal with this. The only thing we have left is to turn to the town of Milton and see what can be done.

For years now, residents have complained about speeding on our streets. To the town’s credit they have done some studies about excess speed on Yates Drive and have concluded it doesnt warrant a stop sign at this particular intersection.

My message, that I plan on delivering with the help of the local residents, is simply this.

Reduce the speed to 40km/h and / or put a 4 way stop at this intersection. By doing nothing, is simply condoning this behaviour and endorsing what has already happened.

The safety of the people in the area, their homes and our children are more important than worrying about if people will be inconvenienced by an additional stop sign.

Whats more important to you?

Lights at Thompson and Yates Drive

There are a few sources of information available for Milton residents on the internet.  If you need a good source of local information and news in a one stop shop, you can go to www.miltonsearch.com where they update almost daily on the happenings around town.

One other site that I go to, which I highly recommend, is www.hawthornevillager.com

On this site theres some great background information for one of Hawthorne Village’s first residents and the process it took to build a brand new home.  Great read.

Also included on his site is a forum for not just HV residents, but all residents of Milton.  Its a great source of information on your local community, whats happening around the area, and where residents can vent, complain, and ask for help on a number of items.

One of the many concerns in Hawthorne Village (Ward 1 mainly) is traffic.  While campaigning last year, that issue ranked number one as most residents were concerned about stop signs, traffic flow, and lights.

If anyone drives down Thompson Road south of Derry, you will find there to be a high level of traffic at Yates Drive.  Those who live on the west side of Thompson on Yates have found it increasingly difficult to turn north or south without taking their lives in their hands.  Many residents have asked for and demanded a stop light be installed.

After several months planning through the Town of Milton, it was decided and approved recently that there will be lights installed at this location.  Regional Councillor Colin Best confirmed in a post on the HV forum that construction should be starting soon with a targeted finishing date of October 27th.

I know I can speak on behalf of many residents in that area both east and west on Yates that this is a welcome development.

You can find the post here on the HV website.  While youre at it, register to post and introduce yourself.

Community Road Watch

With the new school term beginning and the almost in synch complaints about peoples “bad driving” running rampant throughout the town this article by Halton Region Chair Gary Carr is quite timely.

Many people I spoke with during the last municipal campaign talked very passionately about road safety. In fact it was one of the core parts of my campaign. Unlike some other candidates I ran on issues that were important to Miltonians and had a plan of action for each. For every resident I talked to, I always brought up this organization as the ones to contact and find out more information. Road safety is very important…even more now that we have our kids walking through the streets to the bus stops and along the sidewalks to school.

We have all experienced it. The car speeding down the street at an obviously high rate of speed with what we all assume to be reckless abandon while a number of students are trying to cross the street to get to the school bus. I live on Yates Drive at March Crossing and I seen my share of speeders. Many of them not realizing that they are driving at excessive speeds or if they do notice, they don’t seem to care.

Many people plead from their porches and from the sidewalks to those who feel it necessary to exceed the speed limit on our residential streets and endanger the lives and safety of all of us, but most importantly our children. Those pleas go unheard.

The police cant be at every street corner in every part of town, although at times we would like nothing better than to see those who break the law get punished. The Community Road Watch program is set up for just this reason.

It really shouldn’t have to come to this but here’s what you can do. Thanks to Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr for including this in his recent guest column in the Oakville Beaver.

Participating in Road Watch
Gary Carr, Guest Columnist

Published on Sep 08, 2007

As the Chair of Halton Region, I have the pleasure to sit on the Board of the Halton Region Police Service (HRPS).

As a member of the police service board, I have the opportunity to hear about the community programs HRPS is involved in with the community, as well as their ideas for new projects that would benefit our community.

One very exciting project currently being run in Halton Region is the Community Road Watch program.

This is a community-operated program that gives residents the opportunity to report aggressive and unsafe drivers through a Citizen Report Form to police.

Here’s how the citizen report is processed:

The first time a citizen report is received, an information letter is sent by the police to the registered owner of the vehicle explaining that their vehicle was observed being operated in an unsafe manner at a specific time and location, and asks them to remember to drive safely on Halton roadways.

If the vehicle owner was not driving their vehicle, it is their responsibility to speak with the person who was.

The second time a citizen report is received on the same registered owner, a repeat letter is sent from the police with the potential for personal contact from a police officer to address the problem.

A third report against an owner will result in a third letter and a personal visit from a police officer.

If you observe a dangerous act of aggressive driving on the roads in Halton Region, please consider taking the time to submit a Citizen Report Form.

You can fill out the form online, or place a completed form in one of the secure drop boxes that are located throughout the community at participating police stations, businesses and libraries.

Copies of the form can be faxed to the Halton Region Police Service at 905-845-0381.

The information you provide in the reports is held in strict confidence by Halton Regional Police and you will remain unidentified.

Please fill out the forms as completely as possible to provide the police with the most information possible.

All completed forms are picked up on a regular basis and verified by the police for accuracy. I encourage you to participate in this program and help to keep Halton streets safe from dangerous and aggressive driving.

To fill out a Citizen Report Form, or for more information about the Community Road Watch program, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service at 905-825-4777 — South Halton; 905-878-5511 – North Halton, or visit the website at www.hrps.on.ca.