The City of Ottawa’s 2011 budget included funding for additional Adult Crossing Guard locations throughout the City. The intersections of Maitland Avenue with Erindale Drive and Glenmount Avenue met the necessary criteria, and so an Adult Crossing Guard was located there at the start of the new school year. Thank you, neighbourhood parent, Matti Edwards, for successfully campaigning for this need within our community.
The City of Ottawa uses a warrant/ranking method to evaluate the requirement for Adult Crossing Guards at all requested locations, based on site conditions, collision history, both vehicular and pedestrian volumes, vehicle speeds and the respective abilities of the users at the proposed crossing location. With sufficient criteria, an Adult Crossing Guard can be installed in three different types of locations – a Multi-Way Stop Intersection, a Traffic Control Signalized Intersection, or a Mid-Block Crossing location.
In our case – an intersection with Traffic Control Signals – it is the presence of conflicts between the pedestrians and motorists while the pedestrians are attempting to cross the street, which appears to have given us the required rating. The system requires the presence of two or more conflicts during the time period reviewed. Conflicts are defined as, when a pedestrian or motorist has to take evasive action to avoid a potential collision. Another trigger requires that more than ten percent of the pedestrian traffic has to yield the right-of-way to turning traffic while crossing during a pedestrian walking phase.
The data collection and warrant analysis is done specifically for the time associated with the bell times of the applicable school. Agincourt Road Public School has bell times of 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. so the review covered the morning time period of 8:00 – 8:40 a.m. and the afternoon dismissal time of 2:50 – 3:30 p.m.
The City of Ottawa is offering a Traffic Safety Outreach Program, which is a brief but informative seminar that educates elementary school children, as pedestrians and cyclists, about pedestrian and cycling safety, particularly with regard to crossing the street, recognizing traffic signs, adult crossing guards and school safety patrollers (when they exist).