WINCHESTER – The North Dundas council is considering reversing its decision to ban truck traffic in South Mountain on Bridge Street and Sandy Row.
In early September, the council reacted to complaints about the safety of residents living along the existing truck routes that include Bridge Street, as trucks make their way from Sandy Row to wherever they want to get to –north, south east and west as well as on Sandy Row itself.
The truck ban had been in effect for just a few weeks, when council decided to take another look at the situation in order to make a fair decision for residents and truck owners.
At their regular council meeting in early October, the council put a hold on their earlier decision and made a Notice of Motion to revisit the earlier decision to ban the trucks at their Oct. 20 meeting.
Indications are that they will look for other ways to solve the truck issues in South Mountain.
The issue began when Mayor Tony Fraser received complaints about the truck traffic along Bridge Street.
“Concerns were raised to me about the busyness of trucks going up and down Sandy Row and trucks on Bridge Street. Bridge is a small street, mainly residential especially on the south end. There is one business I believe just on the north side of the bridge. The issue was trucks going up and down Bridge Street and causing concerns for residents,” he said.
There were safety concerns about school children and residents walking their dogs or people just on bicycles.
The concern was over trucks heading out from the quarries on Sandy Row. They would turn north on Bridge Street or travel west on Sandy Row to get where they need to go.
“We wanted them to redirect themselves and go towards Brinston Road, and then go north or south or whichever way they see fit,” he said referring to the original plan to encourage the trucks to take different routes.
“I have had a chance to talk to two of the people who need trucks on their property. I talked about what the intent was, to ensure safety for the community and they buy into that, they think that is important; they are community members themselves, they understand the need for safety.
Fraser said he would like to look at other measures to ensure safety is top of mind for residents of the area as well as truck drivers.
I would like to look into what I talked about at the last meeting; the intent is safety, if we have to look at other traffic control speed mitigation measures, or ensure that the speed limit is followed,” Fraser said.
In light of the expected cooperation from truck drivers, the council is hoping that sharing the responsibility for road safety with residents and truck drivers will be better than simply banning trucks outright.
The arrival of new subdivisions in the Sandy Row area has resulted in more foot traffic and cycling along the road and into South Mountain itself.
Based on 2013, traffic data, Bridge Street has an average daily traffic of around 200 vehicles of which two per cent is truck traffic. Since 2013, the truck traffic has increased substantially in the area.