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Safety concerns grow over new pedestrian traffic light in Pincourt

Pincourt residents are concerned about safety in their neighbourhood after the city replaced a stop sign with pedestrian traffic lights at a crosswalk on a busy street. Global News' Brayden Jagger Haines reports.

Since early November, a new pedestrian traffic light has been in place at a crosswalk on busy Cardinal-Léger Boulevard in Pincourt.

The new measure replaced a stop sign, but the change is proving to be unpopular among residents.

A petition to bring back the stop sign is gaining traction in the neighbourhood. It has garnered more than 50 signatures.

“Not one resident is happy about the sign being taken down, not one,” Pincourt resident Pierre Giasson.

READ MORE: Montreal police defend 12,000 tickets issued to cyclists as biking advocates demand change

Pincourt city officials said the stop sign no longer was up to code and did not follow the provincial traffic laws and needed to be removed.

Vicky Sauvé, spokesperson for the city, said because the sign was not at an intersection, it legally had to be taken down.

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However, residents like Giasson say they have safety concerns. The boulevard is busy and the crosswalk is located close to several elementary schools.

“What happens if the lights don’t work and a child comes across and gets killed? That is my biggest concern,” He said.

The City of Pincourt conducted multiple traffic studies and the crosswalk is safe, according to Sauvé.

“Citizens are not sure with this decision, but on the other hand it’s a secure crosswalk,”said.

READ MORE: Montreal to add pedestrian crossing signals to all traffic lights

The city says the new light installation will help the flow of traffic on the busy thoroughfare. It will allow pedestrians to cross and vehicles to stop only when the button is pushed and the lights are flashing.

Residents argue they have seen an increase in speeding in the area since the removal of the stop sign.

“The speed limit is not respected,” Karine Ladeuix told Global News.

The city said speeding in the area has always been an issue.

“We cannot control people driving, we cannot control their speed, we cannot control the risk,” Sauvé said.

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While city officials say they are willing to listen to residents’ concerns, they say the new pedestrian crossing is here to stay.