SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – Cars and pedestrian interactions are increasingly dangerous on Pine Street according to a local resident.
Linda Francisco lives at the corner of Pine and Chlebus and has watched in fear as children and elderly cross daily.
“The traffic is very busy and the amount of children and the elderly who cross because there is no sidewalks on the opposite side,” said Francisco. “Many people walk their dogs, cross with strollers and the traffic here is very fast…Between 3:30 and 4:30 traffic is backed up both ways and the cycling lanes have made the street narrow.”
She had been in contact with her councillors with no response. She wants them to consider putting a crosswalk there.
Ward Two Councillors Luke Dufour and Lisa Vezeau-Allen both responded to requests for comment by Sault Online regarding the traffic issues in that location. They said this isn’t the first time this concern has been brought forward by people in the community.
“The City is not building any new Pedestrian Cross Overs this year, we are waiting to review the success of the first 3 that were only commissioned last year,” said Dufour. “I would also note that these concerns helped to ensure that the new bike lanes on Pine St were approved. By installing bike lanes, we also expect to slow traffic in this area. The bike lanes need to be there for at least a season to evaluate.”
Vezeau-Allen offered to have the resident reach out to her but also noted not much can be done at the moment.
“We have received previous emails regarding Clergue and congestion of traffic at drop off and pick up times,” said Vezeau-Allen. “As you are aware there is a school safety zone study underway, and once those recommendations come forward, we can discuss (them).”
For now, the intersection will remain as is. According to staff, they are hoping to bring the study to the council in the fourth quarter of this year.