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No signal lights for Wellesley intersection

After an analysis of the intersection of Nafziger Road and Queens Bush Road in Wellesley Township, the Region of Waterloo has decided that a signal light is not warranted at the intersection.

Bob Henderson, the region’s manager of transportation engineering, delivered the report to councillors Tuesday night in response to Mayor Ross Kelterborn’s request earlier this year for an analysis of the intersection. The region studied traffic volumes at the intersection on May 27, basing the decision on traffic flows that day.

The intersection currently has stop signs only on north and southbound Nafziger Road.

For an intersection to be considered suitable for the installation of an all-way stop, the total traffic of volume entering that intersection must exceed 500 vehicles per hour. At the intersection of Nafziger and Queens Bush Road, the total traffic volume was only 480 vehicles per hour, said Henderson, making a signal at the intersection unwarranted.

The region also cited in their report that all-way stops have been shown effective at limiting collisions at intersections that experience a minimum of 12 collisions over three years. A review of the intersection of Nafziger Road and Queens Bush Road, however, showed only two angle collisions in the past three years.

Henderson also detailed the danger of installing lights where they are not required.

“We have a very extensive collision database where we can track this information and make reliable conclusions,” Henderson said. “We looked at 47 intersections where we installed signals, we looked at collisions before and after [the signals were installed], there was a 70-per-cent increase in collisions after the signals were installed.”

He said that the region must balance not only the flow of traffic, but the safety of everyone on the road as well.

“Most pedestrian collisions in our region occur at signalized intersections,” he explained. “Of all our pedestrian collisions, approximately 58 per cent occur at signalized intersections, and of those collisions, approximately 67 per cent occur while the pedestrian is in the cross-walk with the right of way.”

Kelterborn mentioned that he had received many complaints from the public concerning the intersection, which was why he requested the study in the first place.

“In that intersection, because of the configuration of the buildings, it’s difficult to see people coming from the east and the west,” he said, adding that near-misses should be considered as well as collisions.

Henderson agreed, saying he had received some complaints as well, but added that the region will continue to monitor the intersection. If there is a rise in the number of collisions, the region will reinvestigate the issue.

“Near-misses happen everywhere,” he said, “they don’t just happen at this intersection.”

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