MTO RESPONDS: Petition created for Highway 138 traffic light

MTO RESPONDS: Petition created for Highway 138 traffic light
The destruction at the scene of a collision on Highway 138 Monday evening.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Homeowners who live on and around Highway 138 are fed up with deadly collisions and want the province to install a traffic light at Headline Road.

Following yet another head-on collision on Highway 138, property owner Kim Ariagno is circulating a petition that she hopes will result in slower drivers and more safety.

While the spectacular Monday evening collision resulted in no injuries, 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.

Ariagno has had enough.

“Everyone is worried,” she said in an interview. “I believe it’s the motorists to blame. But we have traffic lights to control motorists.

“We can slow them down.”

Later this month the Ministry of Transportationmay sit down with South Stormont council to discuss the perils of driving on Highway 138.

South Stormont clerk Betty de Haan told Seaway News a meeting is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 27 (7 p.m.) between MTO and township council.

MTO project manager Kevin Gibbs is expected to deliver a presentation to council that will include plans for augmenting safety on Highway 138.

But an MTO spokesman later said nothing specific has been shceduled.

“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. “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 yeasr, 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.

Ariagno had previously considered a petition, but shelved the idea when it became apparent something to augment safety at the intersection was in the works.

But weeks have gone by with no progress, and the latest collision has sparked her to act.

Ariagno said many motorists have used Headline Road’s right-hand turning lane to pass, which has created the potential for collisions.

She said a previous accident caused a delay of nearly 30 minutes while worried parents were trying to get to nearby Ecole Ste. Lucie to pick up their children.

Ariagno’s petition can be found here.

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