Huron County to produce report on Blyth intersection - Feb. 16, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Huron County will produce a report on a solution to ongoing traffic concerns at the Blyth intersection of London and Blyth Roads.
North Huron Councillor Bill Knott and Blyth resident Chris Patterson spoke to council at its Feb. 8 meeting, presenting to council an audited petition that contained over 1,000 signatures.
The intersection has been a hot topic of conversation at North Huron Council for a number of months. However, calling the safety of the intersection into question is not new, as people have been calling for a traffic solution there since the 1970s, Knott told council.
Patterson spoke about his Nov. 16, 2016 collision that sparked his interest in the safety of the intersection. Patterson said he was T-boned at the intersection by someone travelling eastbound on Blyth Road and while there were no serious injuries, it was mentally traumatic for all involved.
After that experience, he said, he started a Facebook group for concerned citizens and it garnered plenty of support.
Around that time, independent of Patterson’s Facebook group, Knott began a petition to the county for traffic lights at the intersection. Finding that they were both pulling in the same direction, they joined forces to bring awareness to the danger of the intersection.
Patterson said that through his travels he was finding many people who had been affected by the intersection, whether it be through injuries or death, he was finding that he was not alone.
“I never thought I’d be the voice of 1,000 people,” Patterson said. “But if it’s something that I need to do, I’ll do it.”
Knott called on council to make a motion then and there to invest in the safety of the intersection, including funding for the project in the 2017 budget. However, in accordance with council’s presentation policy, councillors asked for a staff report on the issue.
Warden Jim Ginn said he had recently toured the Blyth Cowbell Brewing Company facility and said the company’s plans are grand and that traffic in that immediate area is destined to increase greatly as a result.
He said that the brewery will bring thousands more people to the area every year, adding that he personally agreed with Knott that a solution is necessary for that intersection, but that the decision is council’s to make.
North Huron Reeve Neil Vincent said that while traffic studies had been conducted, their information was highly unreliable because over the years collisions at that intersection had been reported nine different ways, leading to inaccurate data.
Past-Warden Paul Gowing agreed that the intersection is a very complicated issue and that there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before a solution is decided upon.
He agreed with Ginn that a study, including information on the traffic through the intersection, was the best way to proceed and for council to have valid information on how to best address safety concerns.
Council passed a motion asking for a staff report, which will be presented at a future meeting of council.