Scramble crossing at Union & University

City councillor believes pedestrian safety key for University District

Pedestrians will be able to cross diagonally at the Union St. and University Ave. intersection come September.

Starting this September, the Union St. and University Ave. intersection will become the first all-way “scramble” crosswalk in Kingston.

On June 16, the Kingston City Council passed a motion unanimously in favor of a new crosswalk to improve better pedestrian safety on campus. The motion was brought to council by Sydenham District Councillor Peter Stroud, who identified the project as one of his key platform points while running  for council in 2014.

According to Stroud, the decision came six months after he initially brought it to the attention of council.

“If you cross against the traffic, you’re taking a risk. The scramble crossing is the safest way to protect the pedestrians at this intersection,” Stroud said.

A scramble crossing stops all traffic simultaneously, which lets pedestrians cross in all directions until traffic resumes.

The project will likely cost the City an estimated $130,000, but Stroud said it will be worth it for the increased pedestrian safety. The City plans to implement the crosswalk for Sept. 1 as students return for the fall semester this year.

The intersection will be the first all-way crossing in Kingston. It was inspired by those found in the downtown core of Toronto, according to Stroud.

Along with the intersection changes, Stroud said he’s been working with City Councillor Jim Neill to introduce improved winter sidewalk safety initiatives.

“It was not a coincidence these two motions came from me. In my campaign I advocated very strongly for pedestrian safety,” Stroud said.

Stroud worked alongside current AMS Municipal Affairs Commissioner (MAC) Matt Kussin, ArtSci ’15, and former MAC Ariel Aguilar Gonzalez, ArtSci ’16, to implement the project. According to Kussin, the AMS began lobbying for the project last year.

“We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback,” Kussin said. The announcement on the AMS University District Facebook page received 247 likes and 27 shares, as of Monday night.

Along with the intersection, Kussin said that AMS is finishing a study conducted with Urban and Regional Planning to determine design guidelines for the University District.

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