Light shed on Smith Drive

Smith Drive in Armstrong will be lit up and fixed up in 2012.

Smith Drive in Armstrong will be lit up and fixed up in 2012.

Council voted unanimously to install new lights on the back of the sidewalk from McDonald’s to Pleasant Valley Road, and also voted to make safety and visibility upgrades in conjunction with the city’s active transportation plan.

Council was given two options on the lights, which will be set up on both sides of Smith Drive. Option one is to install new lights on the back of the sidewalks, while option two is to replace existing lamps at their current locations.

“Option number two is $142,000, option one is $166,000,” said Coun. Shirley Fowler, chairperson of the city’s public works committee.

“A lot of the difference in cost is the decision on what kind of bulb to put in.”

Council voted on option one as the LED bulb that goes with it have a shelf life of about 50,000 hours compared to 5,000 hours for a bulb that would be used in option two.

Council voted unanimously on option one.

Upgrades for Smith Drive will include a cross-walk at the east side of the Smith Road/Smith Drive intersection to access 7-Eleven and a bus stop.

The crosswalk will provide pedestrians a safer access and provide a connection to the shopping centres and strip malls.

A sidewalk will also be extended to the crosswalk.

The 7-Eleven will lose one of its four accesses with the upgrades, with city staff citing safety concerns as the main reason.

The north access on Smith Drive is in close proximity to the intersection, and this is the access that will be closed to improve traffic flow.

Council will have staff put in a sidewalk and gutter curb from the intersection to the existing bus stop to allow unobstructed pedestrian access.

Visibility around the government liquor store will be improved with landscaping and trees being removed or heavily cut back.

One upgrade that was nixed was installation of a pedestrian refuge, or island, at the crosswalk in front of Armstrong Pharmacy.

“I can’t see pedestrians standing in the centre of a busy road on a piece of concrete, waiting to cross,” said Coun. Kelly Rowe.

“I don’t think the refuge is the right way to go,” added Coun. Ryan Nitchie who, instead, motioned  for staff to look at the possibility of installing a pedestrian-activated signal, similar to one located at Pleasant Valley Road and Rosedale Avenue.