I am Jakob, I’m in grade 4. My brother Noah is in grade 2. We live near the where the Spur Line crosses Union Street and we cross at Moore Street to go to school and come home. I am sometimes scared and stressed trying to cross Union Street. At the lights there are a lot of cars turning and not a lot of time to get across the street. At the Spur Line the cars go so fast that it’s hard to get across with my bike but the sidewalks to get to the lights at Moore are not wide and do not have curbs so it’s tricky to bike and walk there. I am worried someone is going to get hurt or worse.
We decided we needed a change so we made this problem our 2017 science fair project [Elizabeth Ziegler School]. We looked at all the problems cars and pedestrians have in that area and looked for ideas on Google on how the city could make that area safer for everyone. Our city Councilor, Melissa Durrell, told us we would need data for the city so we counted pedestrians and cyclists using the path and at the lights. We counted for 6 days in 15 minute chunks before school and after school. We also downloaded a radar app to our mom’s iPhone and recorded the speed of cars traveling in that area and we asked the city for the number of cars traveling along Union Street. We counted up to 150 people crossing Union Street between 8:40 and 8:55 in the morning the fastest car we measured was going 87 KM per hour but on average cars travelled at about 10KM per hour over the speed limit.
As the weather gets nicer in the school year even more people will be crossing Union Street. Before there is an accident we would like the city to look at our list of dangers and solutions. We would like curbs, advanced greens, a longer time to cross the street but most important we would like Union Street from Dover Street to Bowman Street to be named a Community Safety Zone and a cross walk with lights installed at the path. We have collected over 120 signatures already and would like more.
Additional Note: The City of Waterloo is also aware of this crossing concern and will host a public information feedback session on Thursday May 18, 5:30 – 8:00pm at Waterloo City Hall (100 Regina Street South). I hear Jakob & Noah will have a chance to present their research findings – how cool is that! If you can’t make it there in person, you can submit your feedback via engageWaterloo. But maybe you could go and support Jakob, Noah and their school project!
Here’s the info on a sign at the crossing. See you there!