Cumberland busy but not ‘over the top’: city rep responds to stop sign petition

Traffic flows along Cumberland Street Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016 in Cornwall, Ont. A petition has been launched to add temporary stop signs at every intersection from Water to Seventh Street but the city says that would only add further congestion. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The division manager for Cornwall’s infrastructure says they are monitoring traffic volumes on Cumberland Street but the amount of cars and trucks is not “over the top.”

Stephen Wintle was responding to word of a change.org petition, launched by Gilles Laplante, asking for temporary stop signs to be put up.

While the wording of the petition is somewhat ambiguous, the document suggests four-way stops for every intersection from Water to Seventh, especially Fourth Street.

Other nearby residents, like Don Smith on Seventh Street near Cumberland, says the extra traffic has led to people running red lights and pedestrians being blocked from crossing the street. “We’re nervous about exiting our driveway – it’s that bad,” Smith told CNW.

As of Thursday afternoon, the petition had 55 electronic signatures.

Wintle said students have been out doing traffic counts as early as a few weeks ago to see if traffic volumes are reaching a point where some “intervention needs to happen.”

“To my knowledge, it’s not at that level,” Wintle added, though he has been unable to review most of the data since the city’s traffic engineer is on vacation.

Traffic flows along Cumberland Street Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016 in Cornwall, Ont. A petition has been launched to add temporary stop signs at every intersection from Water to Seventh Street but the city says that would only add further congestion. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Traffic flows along Cumberland Street Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016 in Cornwall, Ont. A petition has been launched to add temporary stop signs at every intersection from Water to Seventh Street but the city says that would only add further congestion. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

After a three vehicle crash at Cumberland and Seventh Street Wednesday – where there is a stop light – Wintle suggests that doesn’t add weight to a case for more stop lights and signs.

Wintle said the traffic pattern is the same as when the north channel bridge was demolished in 2015.

“I’m a bit surprised that people are perceiving problems because we went all last year and no issues and it’s sort of the same thing, same detour route,” Wintle said.

“A temporary stop sign would not help move traffic on Cumberland Street. If you’ve got higher volumes on Cumberland Street, the more stops you put on Cumberland Street, the slower traffic moves…you can almost get clogged,” he said.

Wintle suggests changes in driver behaviour, like taking alternate routes knowing about the congestion on Cumberland, would help alleviate the problem.

“It’s an extenuating circumstance. Brookdale…is Highway 138 and an international bridge crossing…and it’s under massive reconstruction. I’m sure the majority of people say ‘we get it’. Yes, there’s going to be some inconvenience,” Wintle said.

 

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