Councillor Paone used Other Business to request that something be done about the fact that drivers are driving through the intersection at Portland Street and Welland Street South, barely slowing down despite the stop signs posted there. According to Paone, it has become a concern because of the volume of traffic, being main access to the Welland Canals Parkway.

Wondering if the problem was a lack of white lines at the intersection, there followed a discussion involving the Engineering manager as to whether there are white lines painted there and if there should be, receiving the reply that budgetary restrictions only allow for staggered repainting each year. Asked if he could make that particular intersection a priority, it was agreed.

Councillor Longo commented that this corner is hardly unique. “I know of few stop signs where people actually stop,” he commented, eliciting laughter from those assembled. Humorous, perhaps, but a valid observation just the same.

In the end, it was decided that Council would go with asking the police to monitor this intersection, and to paint white lines denoting where people are supposed to stop.

Somehow, I doubt that either of these measures will help much. People run these stop signs because of stop sign fatigue. If Thorold doesn’t hold the per capita record for all-way stops, they certainly must be in the running. For years, I’ve watched successive Councils grant all-way stops to everyone that asked for one, heedless of the fact that staff reports almost never supported the need for one, according to accepted traffic levels (warrants).

So, maybe the real answer would be less stop signs. At least, if they’re not there, people can’t run them. And it would be much more environmentally friendly as well, since  stopping and starting generates plenty of greenhouse gas, not to mention extra old-fashioned air pollution. This is, of course, tongue and cheek, but I suspect there is no real way to stop this sort of thing, except for short periods when there’s a policeman sitting there.

So now, the police will show up and cars will stop for  day or two. Lines will be painted, but if people don’t stop for the signs, I don’t know what makes anyone think they’ll stop for the lines. It doesn’t help at Pine Street and Sullivan Avenue, and that’s beside a school. Everybody knows they should stop, but ‘should’ has become a relative term. It will be business as usual until everyone realizes that every other corner doesn’t need the obviously false security of an all-way stop.


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