Legion outlines safety concerns


The local Legion has expressed some safety concerns to town council, including upgrading the crosswalk outside the building.
“We feel that since this crosswalk is being used by seniors, as well as other citizens, some of whom use canes, wheelchairs, and walkers, crossing from the parking lot to access the Legion and Scott Street, it needs to be upgraded and made more visible to vehicular traffic to ensure their safety,” Legion Br. #29 president Ray Watson wrote in a letter received by council at its meeting Monday night.
“There have been many incidents witnessed by both members, staff of the Legion, and private citizens of persons almost being hit by a vehicle that did not see the sign hanging over the crosswalk,” he noted.
“Safety has become an issue since the road was repaved, and the crosswalk symbols and hash marks were not repainted on the road and the sign is no longer illuminated,” added Watson.
He said the crosswalk needs to be made more visible while removing parking spots, as was suggested in a Sept. 13 e-mail from town administration, is not the answer.
“Safety for the citizens of Fort Frances should be the primary concern of the town administration, not what the Ontario Traffic Manual-Pedestrian Crossing minimum requirements says,” Watson stressed.
“When, not if, someone gets injured while crossing from the municipal parking lot, it will be too late to address this issue.”
In a second letter, the Legion asked the town to take over the care and maintenance of the alley running alongside the building.
“[The alley] is deteriorating at a rapid pace due to the volume of traffic and is becoming unsafe,” Watson warned.
“We have limited funds available for that kind of maintenance.
“As well, this alley was marked and used as a fire lane,” he added.
“The alley was also marked as a walkway to provided access from the municipal parking lot on Church Street to the downtown business area.”
Watson noted he hopes the matter “can be resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.”
Council referred both concerns to the Operations and Facilities executive committee for its recommendation.