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County of Essex to conduct traffic study along County Road 20

Essex Civic Centre

The County of Essex will be conducting a traffic study on County Road 20 (Front Road North) between Texas Road and County Road 3 (Malden Road).


“At the April 22, 2024 meeting of Amherstburg town council direction was given to Mayor (Michael) Prue and Deputy Mayor (Chris) Gibb to request the County of Essex conduct a traffic study for Essex County Road 20 from Texas Road to Essex County Road 3,” county council's agenda read last Wednesday night. “This notice of motion is to request Essex County Council direct staff to conduct a traffic study which will investigate the effectiveness of speed reductions and other traffic calming measures to ensure that both vehicular and pedestrian traffic on this section of County Road 20 is being managed as safely and efficiently as possible.


The recommendation before county council last Wednesday night, which was adopted, stated that “Essex County Council direct staff to conduct a traffic study which will investigate the effectiveness of speed reductions and other traffic calming measures to ensure that both vehicular and pedestrian traffic on County Road 20 from Texas Road to Essex County Road 3 is being managed as safely and efficiently as possible.”


Gibb noted the issue came up at the April 22 and May 27 town council meetings.

“Amherstburg town council cited the growth in the region driving higher traffic volumes,” said Gibb. “The densification along this roadway is increased and it has a lot of private driveways along the highway.”


Speed is also a “common complaint among the residents,” the deputy mayor stated. Gibb added there is no street lighting along Front Road North along the northern stretch of the area near River Canard. The lack of street lighting “may or may not lead to dangerous traffic conditions.”


“Amherstburg town council is asking for a traffic study to see if there is a way to improve this county road,” said Gibb.


Prue agreed with Gibb, adding that Amherstburg is not necessarily looking for a speed reduction “although that may be one of the options.” Prue said they listened to concerns raised by LaSalle Mayor Crystal Meloche about her belief traffic lights are needed along Front Road in her municipality, and that a lot of traffic is coming out of Amherstburg.


Prue said a lot of people from such areas as the Kingsbridge subdivision head out onto the highway and head to LaSalle and/or Windsor.


“We just think it behooves us to ask the county and county staff to look at this county road to see if we can make it safer,” said Prue.


While the issue was originally raised at town council April 22 and passed unanimously, Gibb asked for a reconsideration and wanted a report from town administration May 27. He was concerned over ceding control to the county and said if a higher level of government passed a speed reduction, it could lead to traffic going over to concession roads and impact businesses who depend on just-in-time delivery.


Gibb's request for a report was ultimatley defeated. Town CAO Valerie Critchley said it was important for the town to be consulted in the process, noting potential impacts to other town roads and businesses who use County Road 20.


“As long as the consultation piece is there, that's the most important thing,” she said.


Councillor Diane Pouget, who questioned the consideration request and the timing thereof, said there have been several accidents along that area. She noted speed concern and the proximity to houses. Prue said he agreed and also noted the accidents, stating at the May 27 town council meeting “it's a very dangerous section of road.” Councillor Peter Courtney was another town council member pointing out the volume of homes, the fact they back out onto the highway and the “angulation” of the road.


Councillor Don McArthur said the county knows it is a commercial route as well as a residential route and was confident they will take everything into consideration. McArthur said no specific requests were being made for County Road 20 other than “look at the road and tell us what you think.”

County of Essex to conduct traffic study along County Road 20

By Ron Giofu

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