Pedestrian crossover pilot aims to make Mississauga streets safer

As part of a pilot project to improve pedestrian safety on Mississauga roads, the city will install five new pedestrian crossovers in various neighbourhoods over the next few months. A new provincial law introduced in 2016 under the Highway Traffic Act allows municipalities to install pedestrian crossovers on low-speed roads.

“Mississauga is a very busy city with thousands of people making use of our roadways every day, making road safety an important priority,” said Mickey Frost, city works operations and maintenance director. “These new crossovers will allow pedestrians to easily cross roadways safely.”

A pedestrian crossover requires drivers to stop for pedestrians intending to cross the road, thereby ensuring their safety. Drivers, including cyclists, must stop and yield the whole roadway at pedestrian crossovers. Only when pedestrians have crossed and are safely on the sidewalk can drivers and cyclists proceed.

Staff reviewed over 20 locations identified by the public as requiring pedestrian crossing assistance. Locations for the new crossovers were chosen based on the level of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, the posted speed limit of the roadway, and locations felt to have the greatest impact on public safety under the city’s Vision Zero mandate.

“Vision Zero is a council-endorsed approach to road safety,” explained Frost. “The framework looks at preventing and ultimately eliminating all pedestrian, cyclist and motorist fatalities and injuries on city streets.”

Level two pedestrian crossovers will be used for the pilot, which consist of signs, pavement markings, and in some cases, flashing lights triggered by a pedestrian pushing a button. Locations chosen for the pilot are Doug Leavens Boulevard (Ward 10), Whitehorn Avenue (Ward 6), Winding Trail (Ward 3), Westbridge Way (Ward 11), and Homelands Drive (Ward 2). City staff will evaluate the effectiveness of the program over the coming year.

Penalties for drivers who endanger pedestrians, including those who fail to yield to pedestrians at crossovers, will face higher fines and more demerit points starting Sept. 1. Drivers failing to yield will face new fines up to $1,000 and the loss of up to four demerit points.

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