Just days after a man died when a transport truck slammed into the SUV he was driving, the County of Simcoe has confirmed it has plans for “illumination” improvements at that same intersection.
This means light fixtures, not traffic lights, according to Christian Meile, the county’s director of transportation and engineering.
The crash took place on Yonge Street at the 12th Line, which is owned by the County of Simcoe. Some Bradford West Gwillimbury residents and town council members have been asking for traffic lights for that intersection for years.
“The county has always said it’s not warranted. The lights are now warranted in that area. Too little, too late,” said BWG Coun. Peter Ferragine, whose ward includes that section of road.
“We’ve been asking for that for a long time.”
Ferragine, a member of the town’s traffic committee during the last term of council, said he suspects traffic lights have been given an OK there because of the increase in population and traffic levels along Yonge Street heading in and out of Bradford.
“That road can’t handle the traffic that’s on it,” he said.
Ferragine said the town is looking at redoing Line 8 — “We need lights there, too” — and he believes the county is considering installing lights at Yonge Street and Line 9.
The county has plans to widen Yonge Street, or County Road 4, from two to four lanes, starting near Line 8 in BWG and working north to County Road 89 and eventually to the south limits of Barrie, according to a statement from Meile.
“Construction will include intersection improvements consisting of added turning lanes, illumination and drainage improvements including the intersection with BWG Line 12,” he wrote.
“Property acquisition is underway for utility relocation and site preparation to begin in 2019/2020 with the first phase of road construction planned to begin in 2021.
“This work will provide additional road capacity for this important north-south link as traffic volumes are expected to continue to increase over time.”
Geoff McKnight, CAO for the Town of BWG, said residents have made numerous requests for “illumination or signalization … at county roads,” such as County Road 88 and County Road 27.
He said the county investigates factors such as traffic levels and light levels when it receives these requests from municipalities.
“There is an industry threshold that should be met before greenlighting (these projects), so to speak. We don’t have the jurisdiction on county roads,” he said.
“This accident was horrible and it’s always awful for anyone to befall something like that. Certainly this renews our interest in pursuing (lights at that intersection).”