Residents implore Town to restore safety measures
“It’s time to rethink our priorities before someone gets seriously hurt.”
That’s the message to the Town of Pelham from resident Craig Edwards, who lives on Port Robinson Road near Station Street, in a part of Fonthill that is seeing a great deal of residential development.
His comment concerns drivers using local roads and allegedly not observing traffic laws.
“Every day I witness vehicles blatantly ignoring the stop signs on Station Street and Port Robinson Road, and then proceeding to speed through our neighbourhood,” said Edwards, noting that many of the transgressors are driving dump trucks, stone slingers, transport trucks, and heavy construction machinery.
“I also see a lot of young guys driving pickup trucks or sports cars ignoring the speed limit,” said Edwards. “Talk to the safety crossing guards—they can’t believe how people have no patience, even in a school zone.”
According to Edwards, motorists are coming down the Port Robinson Road hill from Pelham Street, and as soon as they pass by the school, they hit the accelerator.
“I’m retired, so I get to watch this stuff. It’s first thing in the morning, and it’s coming home in the evening,” he said.
Edwards badgered the Town to repaint the street lines and crosswalk markings on the roadways, so that they are more readily identifiable by vehicle drivers. He also wants speeders held accountable for their actions.
Pelham’s Director of Public Works, Jason Marr, told the Voice that the Town has traditionally contracted out the painting of roadway lines to the Region, because it has proven to be the most economical option.
“Covid-related delays caused the Region to redeploy some of its resources, and they weren’t able to deliver some services for us,” said Marr. “We had been waiting for them to paint the lines all summer. Unfortunately, with the backlog of work that they have with the regional roads, they just were not able to get to us.”
Marr arranged for a third-party contractor to get the lines painted in school zones prior to the opening of classes in September.
The issue of vehicles speeding and not obeying stop signs is an enforcement issue that lies with Niagara Regional Police, said Marr.
“Residents are encouraged to log traffic violations through the NRP link on our website. Our administration has reached out to the NRP as well. They do know about the issues on Port Robinson Road, as a result of our previous discussions with them.”
A new road, about to be built that intersects with Port Robinson Road, has been referred to as Street C in subdivision plans, said Edwards.
“It will be coming out of the Saffron subdivision to the immediate west side of the new townhouses currently being constructed by Grey Forest Homes. We have begged and pleaded that when this intersection was being built, there should be a four-way stop or roundabout constructed or boulevard narrowing with crosswalks, to slow down the traffic.”
Edwards sent an email recently to Town representatives, noting that he was happy to report that a newly-installed speed indicator on Port Robinson Road appeared to be having the desired effect of making people aware of their speed.
“In the case of people who care about the safety of others, they are adjusting their speed accordingly,” wrote Edwards. “Unfortunately, the people who could care less about others are still speeding…some are actually accelerating once they see the speed indicator.”
A second speed indicator is required heading east down Port Robinson Road towards Rice Road, insists Edwards.
You let people get away with a certain amount of speed, and the reality is they’re going to push it as far as they can
“Especially in the morning, this is the direction that people speed in hopes of getting to Rice Road, Highway 20, and Highway 406 as quickly as they can. This is also the time children are making their way to school.”
Edwards feels that the Town should change the speed limit along Port Robinson Road to 40 kilometres per hour, and have the Niagara Regional Police strictly enforce it.
“I’ve lived in Fonthill since 1974, and I can see what’s happening. You let people get away with a certain amount of speed, and the reality is they’re going to push it as far as they can unless somebody starts to slow them down.”
Edwards is adamant that the Town needs to be more proactive in maintaining a safe environment for its residents.
“All these homes that are being built in this area are not all going to be retirees,” he said. “Young families are going to move in here, and parents are going to want their kids to walk or ride their bikes to school. What is the long-term strategy for traffic calming measures while school buses, commercial vehicles, cyclists, commuters, and pedestrian school children and their parents, all try to utilize the same transportation corridor?”