So long traffic circle? Not so fast!

Nick Seebruch
So long traffic circle? Not so fast!
The Cornwall traffic circle (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).

CORNWALL, Ontario – In January, it was reported that the City of Cornwall was considering a $250, 000 study regarding the removal of the Cornwall traffic circle.

The Budget Steering Committee put that speculation to bed at their meeting on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 after they removed the cost of that study from the 2018 budget.

The cost of the study would have been borrowed and would not have cost the city anything until 2019, but the Mayor and some councillors felt that negative public response necessitated the study’s removal from this year’s budget.

“The comment was made by the consultant, that people would become confused that you’d have roundabouts on one end . . . then they’d get confused by coming in there (the traffic circle),” said Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy. “A lot of people where insulted.”

The Mayor also pointed out that the traffic circle was a visually appealing feature of Cornwall.

Councillor Elaine MacDonald spoke in favour of the study to remove the traffic circle, saying that some drivers were already being confused by roundabouts. MacDonald then related one story where she was almost cut off by someone who failed to yield at a roundabout.

“I have more feedback from this than the budget,” said Councillor Claude McIntosh. “City police, have a completely different view on this.”

He said that according to the police, there are more serious accidents at the nearby intersection of Brookdale Ave. and Ninth St.

Michael Fawthrop, Division Manager for Municipal Infrastructure warned that not doing this study now, may cost the City in the future.

While the City would have to pay for the study, he believed that the cost to actually remove the traffic circle could be subsidized from the province through the Connecting Links program, which Fawthrop warned could be cancelled at any time.

He also told council that Cornwall was only one of two municipalities in the province to still have a traffic circle, the other being Hamilton.

Ultimately, the traffic circle study was removed from the budget by a vote of 7-4 with councillors Elaine MacDonald, Bernadette Clement, Carilyne Hebert and Denis Carr voting against.

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