By Denise Bacon

Students and staff at St-Michel French Catholic Elementary School will be much safer when crossing Lawrence Ave. now that the traffic lights are installed and working at Meadowvale Rd. and Lawrence. The City of Toronto’s Transportation Services installed the lights earlier this year and they were turned on soon after schools reopened last month.

Twenty-one Grade 5 students, along with their teacher, Madame Goretti, and Principal, Madame Sodhi, took a ceremonial walk across Lawrence Ave. on September 24  to celebrate this safe new  crossing. School trips using the TTC or GO Train can now start with a safe walk across this seven-lane stretch of Meadowvale.

On the day of this photograph, the staff and students were dressed in green and white to commemorate Franco-Ontarian Day and the history of the largest Francophone community outside of Quebec.

Whenever there are new traffic lights installed at an intersection that previously had stop signs, residents wonder how long they’ll have to wait for the light to turn when they’re on the side street.  Here’s what we heard from Transportation Services:

“This new traffic signal light has two timing plans depending on the time of day. During the day, the traffic signal is coordinated with the four other traffic signals to the east on Lawrence to provide for synchronized green lights.  As part of this daytime plan, the signal is timed to minimize delays on Meadowvale traffic based on traffic demands during peak hours.

During the night and off-peak periods, this traffic signal has a traffic sensor on Meadowvale and it only requires a single vehicle detected to trigger the side street green. Depending on when the vehicle arrives on the side street, the wait time could be from 0 seconds up to a maximum of about 1 minute during these off-peak periods.”

Safe crossings to all!