North Huron critical of intersection report - Dec. 7, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
North Huron Councillor Bill Knott provided a hostile response to a presentation from Huron County staff regarding the intersection of County Roads 4 and 25 on Monday night.
Huron County Engineer Steven Lund and Huron County Acting Chief Administrative Officer Meighan Wark attended Council’s Dec. 4 meeting and provided an update on the intersection, however, the update wasn’t as timely as Knott had anticipated.
The presentation was based on a report that Huron County Council saw in February of this year after a delegation from Blyth attended an earlier meeting requesting it. Lund explained that Huron County’s Public Works Department was directed to respond and, in basic terms, said there wasn’t sufficient traffic or collisions to prompt the placement of traffic signals. Despite that, his report did suggest that Huron County Council could investigate placing traffic signals at the location, either with a powered red flashing light or solar-powered models.
He said that, even in the 10-year forecast by B.M. Ross and Associates, an engineering firm that conducted traffic analysis as part of the Blyth Cowbell Brewing Company development, traffic lights weren’t expected to be necessary.
Lund explained that there would need to be 15 collisions at the site over three years to prompt any immediate change, however they would need to be specific types of collisions. He said collisions such as those caused by drivers ignoring signs aren’t considered because, whether traffic control is handled through a stop sign or a stop light, an ignored sign would still result in a collision.
He did say, however, that the studies didn’t take into account pedestrian traffic volumes and the lack of sidewalks.
As a result of the report, the department was instructed to monitor the situation for several years to determine if any action is necessary.
Huron County Council declined to place flashing lights or additional traffic controls at the intersection.
Knott wasn’t happy with the report, presentation or direction that Huron County Council had given to its staff.
“I’m extremely disappointed,” he said. “I was hoping you would come here and tell us new information, but you’ve just regurgitated a 10-month old report.”
Knott said he had seen the report when it was first presented and didn’t need to re-read it and hoped that there would be more information, especially regarding recent traffic counts that were taken on County Roads 25 and 4.
Knott also said he wanted clarification on parking bylaws in the county and whether or not vehicles could legally park on the side of county roads, citing a meeting he had with former Huron County staff member Mike Alcock who, according to Knott, said there were rules against parking on county roads.
Lund said that he is aware that transport trucks have been a concern at the corner as they park on the side of the road blocking sight lines and that was an issue staff is considering.
As for the traffic counts, Lund said that information wasn’t parsed yet and would first be presented to Huron County Council before it could be presented to lower-tier municipalities. He said that report should be to Huron County council by the third week in January.
Council received the report.