Stop that! Mayor Provenzano votes AGAINST STOP SIGN near school

Mayor Provenzano and Stop Sign

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – A seemingly benign request to move a yield sign ended with Mayor Provenzano voting against a new stop sign meant to keep children safe.

After a fairly quick decision to not vote in favour of moving the yield sign back on Illinois Ave. to make it more visible.

Ward 1 Councillor Paul Christian put forward a motion to turn it into a stop sign.

“My reason for asking council to consider turning down staff recommendation and putting in a stop sign is purely for child pedestrian safety in the area,” said Cllr Paul Christian.

According to local resident Jennifer Craig who lives on the corner and started a petition to have the sign changed, the intersection of Illinois Ave. and Texas Ave. is extremely dangerous.

“The non-residents of the neighbourhood coming in, to and from to pick the kids up at school would always use these back roads because of the congestion that would happen on Wellington,” said resident Craig. “Their disregard for the neighbourhood, you know, was apparent which, in our minds warranted a stop sign.”

Throughout the discussion, Cllr Rick Nero and Mayor Provenzano worried about liability.

“Where do we stand in terms of liability when we make this type of decision? Do we take away staffs position legally, to defend this, if something ever happens?” asked Ward Four Cllr Nero.

City Staff were unable to give him an immediate answer so he chose to vote against the motion for a stop sign.

“Perhaps we should be in a position where we could defend these things should something happen. I don’t feel confident that should something happen, that we will be confident to defend it. So, I’m going to vote against the stop sign,” said Nero.

When Mayor Provenzano proceeded to say staff direction was “clinical” in this position because it was a child safety issue.

Mayor Provenzano jumped quickly at Christian when council with his opinion where council sits on this issue.

“I assure you, council Christian children’s safety is important to everybody who sits in this council, which is why we follow regulations and provisions for this.”

Mayor Provenzano agreed with Cllr Nero saying there are prescribed regulations when it comes to what sign goes where.

Mayor Provenzano admitted to not being a traffic expert but says he will always follow staff advice when they are applying regulations prescribed by the Ministry of Transportation.

Mayor Provenzano voted against the motion to place a stop sign.

In the end, the stop sign motion was approved and Craig was happy with the result and her councillors.

“Everybody including the neighbours, the counsellors involved, everybody was very collaborative and supportive of this initiative, hence, seeing through to success,” said Craig. “We’re very grateful for the energy and time and commitment that the counsellors Paul (Christian) and Sandra (Hollingsworth) put in for this on behalf of the neighbours.

In addition to this new stop sign increasing safety in the community, a school zone study is currently underway and could be ready in quarter four of this year for council review.

Texas Yield Sign


  1. I have to agree a new traffic light there is just going to cause choas, especially with all the truck traffic. Remember how traffic was on Wellington West in Steelton when the light at Huron was still there, having two lights that close together on a main artery will be fun to watch the road rage

  2. Other cities put highways to move traffic safely, our city impedes traffic. Look at Gore/Albert/St. Andrew’s, the ‘new’ McNabb through roads going around to St. Georges, the stupidity on Wellington W before the underpass. I’m probably forgetting a few other ‘choice’ decisions made by city and staff, there are so many of them…

  3. Liability for a turning a yield to a stop… what about liability for not having a stop there in the first place…

    And where was the liability study when they gave Gore the full right of way vs Albert…

    As for the Pino thing… he could have built it anywhere. He’s got the money. Instead council bent over backwards to accommodate him. Like we need another strip mall anywho… our current ones have vacancies.

    • It was an awful voting outcome to let Mr. Pino go ahead, in that area. There is no reasonable justification, definitely, not in my mind.

  4. In many cities, the left turn from Second Line onto Great Northern would utilize BOTH lanes. Imagine how many more vehicles could get through those lights if two lanes were turning LEFT rather than one.
    It was a mistake to not extend Sackville through to the Third Line. This would have taken a lot of pressure off Great Northern.

  5. Quote: ““Their disregard for the neighbourhood, you know, was apparent which, in our minds warranted a stop sign.””

    In all seriousness, why would they be any different with a stop sign?

    Put in some 6″ speed bumps.

  6. Provenzano says he isn’t a traffic expert, but then proceeds to say in his opinion the traffic at Great Northern and Second Line West isn’t that bad and that the Sackville extension isn’t needed. Against the staff’s recommendation, the transportation master plan and various consultant reports!

    • Watch the traffic mess when Pino’s store opens.
      The eastbound Second Line left turn lane will be a real source of headaches.
      Better give Ben another traffic light there too.

  7. Heather….do you have a better suggestion as to how to handle the traffic at the new business venture…one that will create employment and dress up the area?

    • How so? Please detail the parts that aren’t factual.
      During my zoom meetings with the Mayor it was clear to me that he’s disconnected from what’s actually going on in this city.
      How could he have possibly been surprised during his interview in Steel Town Down when those opioid related goings-on are so well known across the general populace.
      The Mayor has been receiving harsh criticism during his tenure and for good reason.

  8. But let’s go ahead and add another light in between two other lights between Great Northern and Second Line and where you turn into Home Depot because Ben Pino has a stripe mall going in ! Makes loads of sense

    • On top of that, take a drive around town and look at all the vacant stores in strip malls across the city.
      The last thing needed are more strip malls where the tenants are gouged by greedy commercial landlords.
      Curious about why the local business community (beyond the chosen few) lacks vibrancy? Could be because when compared to market size SSM commercial rent is astronomically high. This isn’t the Golden Horshoe or GTA with millions in the consumer market – this is Sault Ste Marie, a depressed economy with at most 45,000 sized consumer market.

      • Jenn, a private developer can build wherever they want. Perhaps they’d like their own tenants to make money off of, instead of paying someone else, or want their business in a particular location? It doesn’t matter if it’s owned by Ben Pino or not. What if I told you that you couldn’t build a new house on an empty lot because there were hundreds of others for sale already? Is that reasonable?

        • An entire apples to oranges comparison. Do we have houses in completely habitable conditions sitting vacation? No.
          Do we have empty storefronts sitting vacant slowly falling into disrepair that are an eyesore while remaining tenants have to shoulder the burden of carrying the higher rent due to it? Yes
          Seeing as there aren’t a multitude of vacant houses sitting around that’s no longer a valid example so it’s eliminated.
          There are however those storefronts that by sitting vacant do have an impact on the economy and business community.
          Another reason why your example makes no sense – building lots in residential areas are already zoned for building a residence, as well there is already infrastructure there to support it.
          In the Pino’s example the infrastructure wasn’t there, including a traffic light now which effectively puts a superfluous traffic light in a main artery 200′ from the busiest intersection in the region which will create a bottleneck thereby negatively impacting emergency services as they are leaving or heading to the hospital.
          Finally, no, a private developer cannot build wherever they want which would explain the denied requests from developers by the city for permitting and rezoning.

          • Jenn,

            My example was merely a hypothetical scenario, and yes, it does have merit.

            You’re fixated on issues that are beyond that of new development. It seems what you are concerned about is vacant storefronts. A landlord can do as they please. If they’re run down, then nobody is stopping you from reporting it to City By-Law enforcement.

            As I mentioned earlier, any developer can build wherever they want. It doesn’t matter who their neighbour is or what their competition is doing. As long as that piece of land they own has the right zoning, they are free to do as they please (just like Mr. Pino is doing, imagine that!).

            PS. Those traffic lights you’re already complaining about, they’re going to be directly linked to the set at Second Line via fibreoptic. I’d love to see you try to leave this area without any in place at all!

        • Come to think of it, several years ago Pino put in a request to have a city street closed so he could buy land and expand his store.
          Around the same time a couple other businesses requested the same.
          Two businesses were denied and one was approved so Pino’s expanded even though residents in the area were opposed to it.
          It gives the impression of favouritism.

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