Safety First: Parks Canada, Please Explain

Safety First: How can a single lane Murray Canal replacement bridge be safe?
How can a single lane replacement west Murray Canal Bridge with traffic lights be safe?

A highly regarded transportation safety expert has alerted us to a significant safety concern. Quinte West’s Official Plan identifies County Road 64 as a major collector roadway. Permanent lane control signals as proposed for the new single lane bridge are not common in Ontario. Unless they are properly designed, with consideration of all relevant data, the risk of accidents and injury is real. The design process should include studies of traffic flows – by volume, type and pattern – and consider the potential for rear-end collisions.

Our information about the decision process to date suggests important data and considerations have been overlooked. Parks Canada admitted on April 23, 2014 it relied on traffic counts taken in 2008/9. We understand that a recent traffic count was performed, but not by Parks Canada. The dearth of data – and the apparent lack of concern about it – should be a source of alarm.

It is imperative any decision taken by Parks Canada be based on consideration of all relevant factors. We have no indication from Parks Canada that any of the requisite studies identified by our expert have been undertaken.

Our organization has filed a Federal Access to Information request with Parks Canada to find out if these studies have been done and to clarify what processes have been followed to involve other levels of government and the public. We have continued our outreach to Municipal, Provincial and Federal Government officials through our correspondence and our July 22nd, 2014 Press Release.