Safer pedestrian crossings needed at many Mississauga intersections


Published January 27, 2023 at 5:11 pm

Mississauga councillors are trying to figure out how to pay for more much-needed pedestrian and traffic safety measures as City budget deliberations continue.

At the City of Mississauga’s most-recent budget meeting, held Wednesday afternoon, Ward 6 Councillor Joe Horneck tabled the idea of taking some cash from the City’s road rehabilitation budget to fund additional traffic calming measures and more pedestrian crossings.

“Road rehabilitation is a significant expense…I’d maybe like to take a small bit out of that in order to fund more Vision Zero (initiatives)…for instance, pedestrian crossings, traffic calming…,” Horneck suggested to his council colleagues and City staff, adding he’ll float the idea again at next Wednesday’s budget session when amendments to proposed numbers can be made.

“I’ll ask about making a reduction on road rehabilitation in order to fund quick wins (with traffic safety improvements) as I see them that don’t require massive amounts of staff time.”

Mississauga’s Vision Zero Action Plan is a strategy that contains 99 actions to help Mississauga reach its “Vision Zero” goal of no fatal or serious collisions on the city’s network of roads.  

Geoff Wright, Mississauga’s transportation and works commissioner, said staff can get more pedestrian crossings and other traffic measures in place relatively quickly if given direction by council.

He added that more pedestrian crossings are needed at a number of locations across the city to improve safety.

Horneck noted he’s aware that taking cash from road rehabilitation coffers could increase the cost of future road projects if things are let go too long, but added council and staff would keep a close eye to ensure that didn’t happen.

“And looking around, the quality of our roads is quite high compared to our neighbours, I would say. If you drive to Hamilton, Toronto etc., you very quickly notice the condition of roads changing.”

Mayor Bonnie Crombie cautioned against being too quick to take money from road repairs.

“I think you make the point that our roads do differ significantly from our neighbours and that’s what keeps them in good state of repair and that’s what attracts investment here,” Crombie suggested to Horneck. “So, that’s an area I’d be very cautious about moving forward.”

Ward 8 Councillor Matt Mahoney echoed the mayor’s comments, saying it’s a bit like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“We do underfund the roads currently and I would have some concerns with taking money from the roads budget and allocating it elsewhere,” he said. “Our roads are in a good state of repair and I think that’s extremely important.

“I’m not sure if I support taking money from one to put it into another for a short-term fix. I know it’s a tough budget year… I don’t want to propose this now, but if we have a real interest and it’s a priority for council to move forward on more traffic calming measures…perhaps we have to look at increasing that budget.”

Mahoney added that a recent poll of some 5,000 residents who took part in a virtual town hall meeting showed 60 per cent of people said their number one priority was roads, “which was very shocking and quite telling.”

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising