A new online petition has been launched to urge town council not to remove a set of traffic lights near Robert Moore School.
The petition, which can be found at tinyurl.com/ky87oul, is being conducted by local resident Frank Bruyere.
“In an effort to lower the Town of Fort Frances’ annual budget by a mere $668, the mayor and council are considering the removal of traffic lights at either the Armit or Crowe Ave. and Second Street intersections,” Bruyere wrote at change.org
“A decision to do so will directly affect the safety of vehicles and pedestrians, especially children, who use these intersections daily,” he added.
“Removing traffic lights and replacing them with stop signs will impede the flow of traffic on Second Street and make it even more difficult for pedestrians who depend on the lights to safely cross the intersections,” stressed Bruyere.
“The mayor and council must place the safety of the public ahead of reducing the annual budget by such an insignificant amount.”
As of this morning, the petition had more than 70 signatures.
Some of those who signed the petition have expressed their support at change.org
“At some time in the past, the town decided it was best to put the lights at Crowe and Armit. What has changed? Nothing! They are still needed,” wrote local resident Mary Martinson.
“For 700 bucks, keep the lights and find another way to save [money] . . . perhaps one less per diem per mayor/councilor per year.
“I’m embarrassed for whoever came up with this idea, which is dangerous to the children. No need to waste more [money] on a study, either,” added Martinson.
“Make the right decision–just keep the lights.”
“I’m signing because it’s ridiculous That they would want to take out lights right in a school zone,” wrote Rachel Carter.
“My kids go to Robert Moore and use those lights! So sad,” she added.
As reported in recent months, no decision has been made yet as to which intersection may lose its traffic lights.
At its budget meeting Feb. 21, council voted in favour of removing one set of traffic lights from service and replacing it with stop signs.
The locations presented to council–the intersections of Armit Avenue and Second Street East and Crowe Avenue and Second Street East–will be reviewed but may not be the only possible sites.
Once the town has its summer students back to work this spring, they will help complete a traffic study of the above intersections, following the Ontario Traffic Manual guidelines.
From the traffic counts, a summary will be presented to council, along with a recommendation as which intersection to remove lights from and what signage to replace them with.
In other news, a separate online petition, which calls on town council to agreed to rename Colonization Road and consult with indigenous and non-indigenous residents of Fort Frances on possible new names for the road, is gaining traction.
As of press time, the change.org petition had 191 signatures.
This petition was initiated by Dawson Mihichuk, who believes that renaming the road will help foster a positive relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Fort Francesians and to work towards reconciliation.
“We believe that change is long overdue,” Mihichuk wrote on change.org