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Can this notorious London, Ont. intersection be made safer with a red light camera?

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A new safety assessment of the Hamilton Road and Highbury Avenue intersection makes several recommendations to address the high number of collisions.

The Civic Works Committee (CWC) recently received a report that confirms the intersection is one of London, Ont.’s busiest, with an average of 58,000 vehicles, 350 pedestrians, and 16 cyclists crossing it every day during a traffic count in November 2022.

It’s not just a busy intersection, it’s also more dangerous than most.

According to collision data, it ranks 24th on a list of 360 signalized intersections in London.

The report concludes, “Low compliance with speed limits, driver behaviour, distracted driving, and the angled or skewed configuration of the intersection all contribute to the number of collisions experienced at this location.”

The city isn’t planning to rebuild the intersection until 2029, so Councillor Hadleigh McAlister pressed the CWC to support some interim measures.

“To make it a safer area for the time being, until the intersection can be redeveloped,” Councillor McAlister told CTV News.

Specifically, repainting the worn-out pavement markings and prioritizing a red light camera at the intersection.

Location of red light cameras in London, Ont. (Source: City of London)

“We’ve seen them [be effective] at other intersections like Clarke and Dundas,” he explained. “It really has helped to bring down the accidents.”

London currently operates 10 red light cameras.

However, if council prioritized installing a red light camera at the intersection ahead of other locations in the city, it could politicize a public safety decision that’s currently made based on traffic data and engineering best practices.

So, the committee unanimously recommended that the intersections be repainted this spring, and that an upcoming technical review of the red light camera program establish an “appropriate prioritization” this summer.

McAlister believes the safety assessment on Highbury and Hamilton clearly justifies that it be prioritized as part of the upcoming review.

“Other parts of the city, I recognize they have busy intersections,” he added. “But I really do think that this one, with its proximity to the highway, makes it very important.”

Council will consider the CWC recommendations at a meeting on April 4.

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