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Town of Milton Conducts Studies to Monitor Pedestrian Crossovers

Friday, August 25, 2017

Heide Schlegl, Coordinator, Traffic and Parking, Engineering Services Department, Town of Milton, updates us on pedestrian crossovers that were installed last fall. Prepared on behalf of TAC’s Small Municipalities Task Force, this article is part of a series of feature articles on the issues and challenges affecting smaller communities.

In the fall of 2016, the Town of Milton installed seven pedestrian crossovers (PXOs) on low speed, low volume roads, in accordance with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario’s Bill 31, the Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act. As these PXOs are a relatively new traffic control device in Ontario, many drivers and pedestrians are unaware of the laws surrounding their use.

Photo: Town of Milton

A PXO is a designated crossing area that allows pedestrians to safely cross the road where vehicles must stop until they have crossed the entire width of the road. It provides pedestrians with the right-of-way and provides municipalities with a cost effective solution to ensure pedestrian safety.

As a result of a number of resident requests, the Milton Engineering Services Department conducted pedestrian monitoring studies to determine the PXOs’ effectiveness in December 2016. The chart below summarizes the results of those studies.

Location

Number of pedestrians crossing

Pedestrians stopped at crossing making eye contact with drivers

Vehicles stopped at crossing

Vehicles stopped until pedestrians crossed entire road

Ferguson Drive

144

71%

75%

50%

Main Street

132

88%

90%

82%

Maple Avenue

82

86%

66%

56%

Martin Street

47

80%

83%

75%

Following installation, the PXOs were found to have poor compliance, which was a concern. The Town of Milton has installed additional signage between lanes of traffic in the crossovers to make them more visible to motorists. Positive comments have been received by residents regarding the additional signage as they are now more visible.

Prior to, and during the implementation of the PXOs, an educational campaign was launched which included information on the Town’s website, social media channels, and advertisements. Pamphlets were provided to schools located near the PXOs.

Town of Milton Partners with Halton Regional Police

In February 2017, the Town of Milton partnered with Halton Regional Police for a month-long campaign entitled Project Safe Crossing to improve safety at PXOs. A one-page brochure was created and handed out to every motorist that was stopped during the month of February for any traffic violations by Halton Regional Police. During this time, police spent 150 hours monitoring PXOs, and laid 65 charges; 16 of those charges were for failing to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Another PXO monitoring program was launched in spring 2017 to determine the impact of the educational campaign, police enforcement, and additional signage.

Studies indicate an overall compliance improvement at almost every PXO except for the one on Philbrook Drive. This location has a very high volume of pedestrian traffic, as there are two pathways that lead to elementary schools. As a result, staff will be working with schools in September onsite to educate both drivers and students on how to properly use the crossovers.

PXOs will be installed at all legs of new roundabouts to provide pedestrians a safe place to cross the roadway. A PXO will also be installed at the intersection of Scott Boulevard and Athlone Drive in the fall of 2017. The crossing guard at this intersection will be maintained.

PXOs have become an effective tool in addressing pedestrian issues at intersections and midblock locations. As PXOs are relatively new in Ontario, educational campaigns must continue to increase awareness to both motorists and pedestrians.

For questions, contact heide.schlegl@milton.ca or call 905-878-7252 ext. 2506.