Leamington removing courtesy crosswalk involved in lawsuit
Published Wednesday, April 24, 2019 4:53PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 24, 2019 5:53PM EDT
Leamington council is doing away with a courtesy cross walk that is tied up in a lawsuit against the municipality.
Council has decided against installing a lighted crossing on Erie Street by the Highbury Canco entrance and instead will remove the current courtesy walk altogether.
It has been a problem area in Leamington for years and MacDonald says the courtesy crossing needs to come down.
There were three options on the council table last night to address this situation, which included moving ahead with a planned lighted crossover.
“If we could do something different we would, but we felt of the three options this was the best,” says Leamington Hilda MacDonald.
It is a busy area in Leamington, with a report to council showing every 15 minutes there are at least two to three people crossing between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
“We are giving the illusion of safety, that this is a safe place to cross,” says MacDonald. “It's not 100 per cent safe.”
That's part of the reason council voted to get rid of the crossing altogether instead of installing the controlled crossing like the one further north on Erie Street near the municipal building.
Paring down the road to three lanes for the new crossover was also a concern.
The cost of replacing this crosswalk after its 12 years by the plant was pegged at $175,000.
“Our members of the community were telling us, 'We don't want to be spending money for a crossing that we feel should be the responsibility of the employer here,' in this case Highbury,” says MacDonald.
Residents are instead being encouraged to use the signalized crosswalk at the closest intersection — at Oak Street abd Erue Street.
“It's not sufficient that they would have to walk down the road in order to cross at Oak and Erie Street,” says Dina Harder, a partner at Windsor law firm Greg Monforton and Partners.
She is representing the family of Morgan Harder in a lawsuit against the municipality and two other individuals.
Harder,18, was struck while using the courtesy crossing on his way into work in May 2017.
Harder died of his injuries in hospital.
Mejalli calls council's decision to backtrack on a lighted crossover 'unfortunate.'
“Well it's basically telling both the parents of this child as well as the citizens of Leamington that there is a price that's being put on their lives and they're not prepared to spend that price in order to protect people,” says Mejalli.
MacDonald isn't convinced a lighted crossing is the answer and hopes people use the crosswalk at Oak Street and Erie Street to stay safe.
“We're in a society honestly where we coddle our people,” says MacDonald. “I said this at council the other night, 'We have to put on our microwaves -- don't dry your pet in the microwave -- coffee is hot,'”
CTV News spoke with some of the workers in the area and they're not happy to see the crossing leave without something else in its place.