Another link in the Junction Creek Waterway Park is in place after members of the operations committee voted this week to put a pedestrian crossing on Regent Street near Greater Sudbury Utilities.
The group aims to create a linear, walkable park along the full 18-kilometre length of Junction Creek, from Maley Drive in the northeast section of Greater Sudbury to Kelly Lake in the southwest.
The crosswalk would also become part of the Trans Canada Trail, a project that aims to create a 22,000 kilometre trail across the country, that would be the longest in the world.
First approved in December 2016, the $250,000 cost to put in the full red-yellow-green light crossing, with the GSU contributing $50,000. Employees at the utility will benefit because they have to cross that section of Regent to go from the parking lot to the GSU building.
Joe Rocca, the city's traffic and asset management supervisor, said they decided to go with a full traffic light because that area of Regent – known as Killers Crossing – is extremely busy at peak traffic times.
The red-yellow-green light “allows cyclists to ride through the roadway,” Rocca said, unlike other types of crosswalks, where they have to dismount and walk their bike across the road.
But Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann wondered why a less expensive type of crosswalk – such as the one in use on Brady Street outside of Tom Davies Square – wasn't chosen.
She also wasn't happy that $50,000 of the cost was coming from the Junction Creek Waterway Park capital account.
Ward 11 Coun. Lynne Reynolds agreed, saying the city was spending a lot of money to support “a handful of cyclists” and GSU staff.
Infrastructure GM Tony Cecutti said that part of Regent is particularly busy, and the complex traffic signals at the intersection led them to decide a full traffic light was needed, similar to the one at St. Anne Road.
“It's much easier to manage,” Cecutti said.
The resolution approving the crosswalk passed 3-2 and now goes to city council for formal approval.