Crossing Commissioner’s Road

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It’s nice to see that I’m not the only pedestrian activist speaking out about the difficulty getting across Commissioner’s Road:

Sheila M. Densham
71 Kingsford Crescent
London, ON
N6C 4E5

May 16, 2007

To: Harold Usher, P.Eng., DTM
Councillor – Ward 12
Chair – Environment & Transportation Committee
City of London

cc: David Winninger, Ward 11

Subject: Crossing on Commissioners Road between High Street & Huntingdon Road

Dear Mr. Usher

I am formally contacting you as the chair of ETC, as my neighbour, and as my colleague on the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries. I live in ward 11.

In the past, I have discussed with you the very real perils that pedestrians must tolerate when crossing Commissioners Road between High Street and Huntington Road. You may recall that I presented you with the question, “What about a crosswalk on Commissioners Road, somewhere between High Street and Huntington Drive?”

I am an eight-year resident at 71 Kingsford Crescent where my kitchen windows face into the street. As a result, I bear witness to frequent and habitual pedestrian traffic on Kingsford Crescent.

On a daily basis, people of all ages, including high school students, can be seen walking (sometimes with small children/strollers) towards Commissioners Road and often they are returning with shopping bags from the various food and retail stores located on Commissioners at Wellington Road. On the north side of Commissioners, these pedestrians include neighbours from Kingsford, Averil, Baseline, and as far as Marla Crescent, which is north of Baseline Road. On the south side, pedestrians include neighbours from all points of Lockwood Park, many of whom are students at South Secondary School.

Groups of students from Lockwood Park cross Commissioners Road daily to walk to and from South Secondary School, by way of Kingsford Crescent. Of great concern is that I have witnessed these young adults as they make many perilous attempts to cross Commissioners Road during peak drive times. They are often inclined to dodge four lanes of traffic, which is extremely dangerous given the volume and high speed of traffic encountered on Commissioners at any time.

In turn, being of fit mind and body (and conscious of the effects of greenhouse gas emissions), I often choose to walk with my young daughter to shop at the stores located on both sides of Commissioners Road. Since the widening of Commissioners Road, traffic volumes and speed have increased substantially, making it difficult and extremely dangerous (including time consuming) to cross on foot (especially with a small child) from either side of Commissioners Road in the vicinity of our neighbourhood.

I am writing to request delegation status at an ETC meeting, preferably at the next meeting scheduled for May 28, 2007, to request that the city consider having a crosswalk installed as described above. I would like to share my concerns in person to your committee.

Warm regards,

Sheila M. Densham

Regretfully, I couldn’t make it out to this week’s ETC meeting, so I’ll have to wait for the minutes to be posted on the city’s website. Hopefully, Ms. Densham was accorded better treatment than what I have been, and the city’s response won’t be to close any more intersections to pedestrians.

It would be so much easier to address these kind of pedestrian problems if we had a Pedestrian Committee in London (as they do elsewhere), but as I’ve written about before, City Council apparently secretly dealt with my proposal for such a committee behind closed doors and rejected it (although, to this day, they haven’t actually put it to me that clearly). This will be the subject of my next Freedom of Information request, once I’m done investigating what the city has done about the dangerous Commissioners/Pond Mills intersection since it received the results of the police investigation many months ago (apparently NOTHING).

Anybody who is interested in pursuing the possibility of a Pedestrian Committee for London is invited to contact me.

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