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Four-way stop OK’d to improve safety at Wellesley intersection

A four-way stop is planned for the intersection of Queens Bush and Nafziger roads in Wellesley, township council citing safety concerns last week in approving the new measure.

The move goes beyond a pedestrian crossover (PXO) proposed by the Region of Waterloo.

Regional staff last fall conducted a traffic and pedestrian count and came to the conclusion that a PXO would be a safe alternative for pedestrians to cross Queens Bush Road from the west side. Acting on local knowledge, township staff recommended the all-way stop instead.

Mayor Joe Nowak said a four-way stop for that intersection has been discussed for years, pointing to a recent collision there as an indication better safety measures are needed.

“An eight-year-old girl was hit by a motorcycle… and the motorcycle was going through that intersection. I would think that if there was a stop sign there, that probably wouldn’t have happened,” he said at a June 30 council session.

“This thing has been on the books for the last four mayors – I think Albert Erb was trying to get this approved,” Nowak added, saying he wasn’t convinced a PXO was the best solution.

“To put that crosswalk where it is now not safe, I firmly believe that they (people crossing the street) will not be safe. [I believe] that people will still go through that intersection and anybody at that crosswalk will be moving targets.”

A pedestrian crossover would also mean the removal of three parking spaces, while that would not be the case with the four-way stop option, he noted.

Coun. Herb Neher was the lone vote against the idea, noting he is not a fan of four-way stops because they tend to lead to more traffic in the area.

“It impedes traffic [and] you’re going to have trucks that are going to be stopping. You’re going to have lineups of cars, you’re going to have more pollution and [there are] noise factors and everything else. I really question the effectiveness of four-way stop signs,” said Neher.

Nowak countered the Ward 2 councillor’s argument by pointing out that trucks already have to slow down in that area to make a tight turn.

Coun. Peter van der Maas said he fully supports the four-way stop after petitioning for one to be installed about 20 years ago. He says he was met with some opposition from community members who raised the same points as Neher, adding there have been no complaints since, and everyone with kids will be able to “breathe a sigh of relief.”

The community also has issues with a pedestrian crossover, as indicated by the region’s survey last fall. Of 150 responses, 30 per cent were in favour of the PXO, while 57 per cent were against it and 13 per cent were neutral. No alternatives to the PXO were offered, but 52 per cent of respondents indicated that an all-way stop, traffic signals or flashing lights were preferred.

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