1,300 sign Highway 138 petition, next stop township council

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The destruction at the scene of a collision on Highway 138 recently.

CORNWALL, Ontario - The creator of a petition who wants a traffic light installed on Highway 138 is waiting for a few stragglers before submitting her document to township council.

Kim Ariagno, a mother of two who said a traffic light is needed at a busy 138 intersection with Headline Road, said she's got about 1,300 supporters and her next move will be to go to South Stormont looking for some political clout.

"I am asking for a traffic light but hoping that this request brings enough attention to the area," said Ariagno. "I think we need a change and that could be a light or putting in a school zone.

"The light may not be the answer but it's a start to finding out what is needed to put in safety measures along the 138.

The embattled highway has become a lightning rod for criticism, after several accidents, including some fatalities.

A spectacular collision earlier this month at the corner of the 138 and Headline Road resulted in no injuries, but debris was strewn across the highway and motorists had to leave the safety of their vehicles to direct traffic before police were on the scene.

The Ministry of Transportation is ultimately responsible for putting a light at the intersection, and representatives from that agency are expected to sit down with South Stormont council to discuss the perils of driving on Highway 138.

"We will continue to discuss meeting opportunities with them and are committed to informing them of our suggested plans for Highway 138," Brandy Duhaime, a ministry spokesperson, said in an e-mail to Seaway News recently. "Currently we have a traffic study underway."

But just what that traffic study will recommend remains to be seen. MTO has a record of eight accidents at that corner in the last five years, but notes they are not uncommon for the geography of the intersection.

"All of the collisions involved two vehicles, and were of a type not unusual at an intersection e.g. turning, side swipes and rear-ends," Duhaime's e-mail reads.

"We are still reviewing all of the data and discussing potential improvements along this corridor. The county and the public will have the opportunity to comment on the recommended improvements once the study is finished and specific needs are identified."

It's unclear when the study will be completed.

"I am pleased with the response I've received and look forward to what the study determine," said Ariagno.

Geographic location: Ontario, South Stormont

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