The Regional Municipality Of York

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Motorists /Pedestrians - Let's Work on Our Relationship

New traffic signal graphic banner.

New Traffic Signal on McCowan Road in the City of Markham

A new traffic signal at the intersection of McCowan Road and Wilfred Murison/James Parrot Avenue improves traffic operations and makes crossing safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Every day, about 27,000 motorists travel through this intersection. The section of McCowan Road, between Highway 7 and 16th Avenue, is a highly travelled arterial road. Each day it connects approximately 49,000 travellers to highways, local streets, shops and services, schools and parks.

Travellers in the City of Markham also benefit from improved accessibility for people with disabilities, countdown pedestrian signals and enhanced lighting.

More information about traffic signals can be found on the Traffic and Pedestrian Signals page and by sending an email to, or call 1-877-464-9675 ext. 75000




Pedestrians, wearing bright or reflective clothing during the darker winter months can make you more visible to motorists. And motorists, please be extra vigilant after dark.


Dear Expert,How do I get motorists to notice me? Sincerely, Lonely Pedestrian

Dear Pedestrian

You may think that a stylish black outfit will get you noticed, but the opposite is true. When it’s dark outside you need to wear bright or reflective clothing. Check out our video to see the difference reflective strips can make. And one more thing, please, lose the hoodie. Let the motorists see you for the awesome person you are.

P.S. Another great way to get noticed is to cross only at signalled intersections and cross walks – that’s where motorists are on the lookout for pedestrians.

Dear Expert, I feel like I’m not seeing pedestrians enough. Am I doing something wrong? Sincerely, Caring Motorist

Dear Caring Motorist,

First of all you are not alone. Wanting to see more of someone, especially during the darker months, is common. Here’s what you can do: 

  • Approach intersections with caution and scan carefully to look out for pedestrians.
  • Make sure your windshield is clean inside and out as night-time glare can make visibility difficult.  Visibility can be drastically reduced due to dirt on the inside of a windshield too.  When confronted with oncoming headlights, dirt on the inside will have the same effect as fog or frost.
  • Slow down when it is raining – when it’s dark and wet it’s even harder to see pedestrians.  Driving slower will give you more time to see them.
  • Make sure your headlights and windshield wipers are in good working order.  

Dear Expert, I want my children to have healthy relationships with motorists. What can I do? Sincerely, Concerned Pedestrian Parent

Dear Concerned Pedestrian Parent,

Parents need to always remember that they are role models for their children. So teach them how to cross the street properly – obey pedestrian signals.  We need to promote obeying pedestrian signals at every opportunity. Please cross at crosswalks or intersections and stay alert while crossing.

And please make sure your children are dressed in bright coloured or reflective clothing during the darker months so that they are more visible to motorists. Watch this eye opening video that shows how reflective strips dramatically increase visibility.

Tips For Commercial Vehicles

For pedestrians: 

Listen for back-up alarms and watch for reverse lights.  Both are indicators that the vehicle is about to back-up.

Avoid areas such as truck loading or service areas.  Areas where pedestrians are not normally expected to be are particularly hazardous.

For drivers:

Watch for pedestrians when making turns at intersections.  A distracted pedestrian can easily walk into the side of a turning truck.

Use a spotter at the rear of your vehicle whenever possible when reversing.  A pedestrian can move behind your truck and out of your sight within seconds

Walk around your truck before you start from a parked position.  Children are drawn to trucks and can easily be concealed by the components of a large vehicle.



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