By: Liz Dadson
August 5, 2016
Huron-Kinloss Township has given the green light to larger Stop signs and a lower speed limit on Lake Range Drive. In committee-of-the-whole Wednesday night (Aug. 3), council debated a report from public works director Hugh Nichol, responding to a letter asking for additional safety measures at the intersection of Lake Range Drive, with Concession 8 and Concession 10. The suggestions were: painting white stop blocks at the intersections, and installing over-sized Stop signs, larger advance Stop-ahead signs, and rumble strips. The concerns in the letter were prompted by an accident July 8 in which a vehicle failed to stop at Concession 8 and collided with another vehicle which had right-of-way status. Nichol recommended changing all the current Stop signs along Lake Range Drive, to over-sized signs, the same as currently sit at the intersection of Lake Range Drive and Concession 2 in Point Clark. However, he drew the line at switching out all the Stop signs in the township, because the larger signs have been met with mixed results. He said requests continue to be received for the removal of Stop signs in the township, such as the one at the corner of Saratoga Road and Lake Range Drive. Council disagreed with this request. The bottom line, said Nichol, is that OPP patrolling is still the proper channel of enforcement. "Speeding and driver error are the big problems there." Councillor Jim Hanna agreed, saying larger Stop signs don't necessarily mean that people will stop. "We have Stop signs and flashing lights at the main intersection in Ripley and people still drive right through," said Nichol. "The problem along Lake Range Drive is that we have two speed limits," said mayor Mitch Twolan. "It should be 60 km/h all the way along. That's a possible solution." He said that from Concession 4 to Concession 8, the speed limit is 80 km/h, but from Concession 8 to Concession 10, it's 60 km/h, and then beyond there, it returns to 80 km/h. "People need to take ownership of their driving," said Twolan. "Unfortunately, people don't stop at Stop signs. We just had two accidents along Highway 21 at Concession 12 and Concession 10, and we've had motorcycles wiped out along Lake Range Drive." He said the road is a busy one, particularly in the summer time, with cyclists and walkers mixed in with vehicular traffic everywhere down there. "Maybe the lower speed limit is a good idea," said Hanna. "Yes, because in the winter time, we see increased traffic on that roadway when Highway 21 is closed," said Twolan. "We need over-sized Stop signs and Stop-ahead signs all along Lake Range Drive, and we need to lower the speed limit to 60 km/h." The committee agreed with the installation of four-foot Stop signs at all intersections along Lake Range Drive, and the implementation of lowering the speed limit to 60 km/h. Final approval will come before council at the Aug. 15 meeting.