Plan for future Vincent Massey Drive roundabout fails again

In this April 2021, file photo, a sport utility vehicle gets ready to turn left off Vincent Massey Drive to Tollgate Road West. Cornwall Coun. Dean Hollingsworth was unable to get fellow councillors to agree to add an environmental assessment to this year's budget to address the intersection, possibly with a roundabout down the line. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – A second attempt by a Cornwall councillor failed to get the wheels in motion for a future roundabout at a Vincent Massey Drive intersection.

Dean Hollingsworth, supported by Coun. Justin Towndale, had asked for an environmental assessment of the intersection and for it to be added to this year’s budget.

The study was estimated to cost between $150,000 and $200,000.

But no one else around the council table at Monday night’s council meeting would support it.

Many on council noted that it wasn’t approved in this year’s budget and that the matter should be left for the new council after the October municipal election.

Before the vote, Hollingsworth acknowledged it wasn’t going to go his way and said he was “painfully disappointed.”

The veteran councillor feared the “impetus will be lost” if there’s a shift in the council makeup after Oct. 24.

In the past, Hollingsworth has called it a problem intersection with near-misses and tried in April 2021 to have full costing for the entire project added to the 2022 budget but his motion failed to pass.

On Monday night, he called the current traffic statistics for the intersection “almost obsolete” given the changes in the neighbourhood makeup with more home building in northern Riverdale, which would create future traffic pressure on those arteries.

Infrastructure Michael Fawthrop noted the intersection had been a problem in the past but a left-turn lane was added for eastbound traffic on Vincent Massey Drive to get to Tollgate Road around 2015, which “dramatically reduced” collisions.

Now, the intersection doesn’t make the top 25 intersections in Cornwall for collisions, he said.