Stayner neighbours fed up with sidewalk delays

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Sherri Wilkinson, a 27-year resident of Mowat Street North in Stayner, says she has serious concerns about traffic increases in her neighbourhood.

She said a mix of construction and residential traffic, along with pedestrians, is causing a dangerous and unsustainable situation. She was before council on May 13 to ask when sidewalks will be installed and when Grand Trunk Road will be open to alleviate some of the pressure.

“Mowat Street North has now become a serious public safety hazard. Our street, especially between Highway 26 and Junction Road, feels like Highway 400,” said Wilkinson referring to the non-stop flow of cars, construction vehicles, delivery trucks, cement trucks, and gravel trucks. “Believe me when I say every pedestrian, whether walking or biking along this street, is basically taking their life in their hands and something needs to be done to end this craziness as soon as possible before someone is seriously hurt or even worse.”

She said without sidewalks, or proper shoulders – only open ditches – the road is not able to handle the mix of traffic.

Wilkinson received a standing ovation from a number of neighbours gathered in council chambers.

The urbanization of Mowat Street North is dependent on permits from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).

“I appreciate what you are saying and I appreciate what the residents are saying,” said Mayor Doug Measures. “This has been a very long, long process to develop this subdivision.”

The development has been on the books since 2006.

“The MTO, as I understand it, has a long list of problems with the approaches into [Stayner] by the fire hall to establish Grand Trunk Road,” said Measures, including the intersection and servicing, plus additional delays in securing permits from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Director of public works Dan Perreault explained that a condition of the approval of the Nottawasaga Station subdivision is that the developer is responsible for urbanization of Mowat Street, including the realignment of Superior Street with Mowat. He said the Township of Clearview purchased property to facilitate the realignment but it was soon realized that the MTO has very restrictive requirements for a connecting link intersection. A process to move the connecting link east to reduce MTO restrictions will take another eight to 10 months.

“It’s very difficult to work with the bureaucracy of the Province of Ontario right now to try to get anything moved forward in an expedient way. It just doesn’t happen,” said Measures. “Municipal government works at glacial speed. I think that they are working at atomic speed, so it’s so slow it doesn’t do anything, and it’s quite frustrating.”

A young mom, Natalie Jensen, also spoke during the meeting saying that she was excited to raise a family in Stayner but is now considering a move because she is afraid to walk on the road with her baby.

“Cars fly down that road and there is no defined space for pedestrians. It is discouraging people from actually moving here and staying in the area,” she said. “It may not be a township obligation but someone has an obligation for community safety.”

Measures agreed to request a meeting with the local member of provincial parliament to address the delays.

Council approves upsized stop signs at 3/4 Sideroad intersections

In the same meeting Councillor Marty Beelen received the necessary support from fellow councillors for his request to replace stop signs on 3/4 Sideroad Sunnidale at Concessions 9 and 7 with larger four-foot illuminated or flashing stop signs, to be funded through the public works capital budget.

The motion read in part, “And whereas the sun sets in the west and rises in the east and would be in driver’s vision when driving east bound in the mornings and west bound in the evenings on both Concession 7 Sunnidale and Concession 9 Sunnidale while approaching the 3/4 Sideroad.”

“There have been some pretty bad accidents there and it is a low lying area so the fog collects there and like I said, the sun gets in people’s eyes when they drive on these roads and I think it affects if people can see the stop sign in time or not,” said Beelen.

Councillor Robert McArthur supported the motion saying, “Out in the vast beautiful wilderness we call former Sunnidale Township those signs don’t stand out very well.”

Measures agreed it was an appropriate move.

“It does bear the scars of many accidents and deaths of citizens in our community,” he said, thanking Beelen for tabling the motion.

Photo submitted by Sherri Wilkinson. 

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