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Town to request county for intersection improvements at Sandwich St. S. and Lowes Side Road

Intersection of Sandwich Street South at Lowes Side Road.

The Town of Amherstburg will be appealing to the County of Essex for intersection improvements in the area of Sandwich St. S. and Lowes Side Road.

The motion, introduced by Councillor Diane Pouget, directs either Mayor Michael Prue or Deputy Mayor Chris Gibb to introduce a notice of motion to county council requesting a traffic calming study and the relocation of the 70 km/hr speed limit sign at Lowes and Sandwich St. S. to a point south of the five entrances to the Seasons Retirement Community, the Amherstburg Family Health Team, the Health First Pharmacy, Blue Haven Apartments and County Road 20 and Dalhousie St. intersection.

Pouget’s motion also calls for the county “to investigate the feasibility to consider a crosswalk at the Sandwich/Lowes intersection, to accommodate residents with assisted devices, who reside at the Blue Haven Apartments, and many other residents, to cross safely for their health care needs.”

“Great idea. There’s a bend in the road there,” said Councillor Peter Courtney. “Realistically, you’ve got seniors at Seasons, you’ve got a pharmacy there. It’s safer if they want to cross and go to Dalhousie and go back and forth.”

Deputy Mayor Chris Gibb also called it a “great idea,” stating he lives near the intersection.

“Crossing County Road 20 at that Lowes Side Road is an incredible challenge,” said Gibb. “Everything we learned from our traffic study applies to this corner. There’s nowhere else to cross County Road 20 until you get to Pickering Dr. It’s absolutely a great idea.”Gibb pointed out the next county council meeting is July 17 and they will try and get funding for the traffic light at Middle Side Road (County Road 10) and Howard Ave. (County Road 9). He suggested bringing up the Lowes Side Road issue at another meeting.

“I worry that if we are bringing up two at the same meeting, there could be some pushback from the other county councillors,” said Gibb. “I want to make sure both of them are successful.”

Councillor Don McArthur thanked Pouget for bringing up the motion, stating the speed limit portion “makes so much sense.”  The issue of a crosswalk will carry a cost but it’s worth it “because that’s a crucial crossing in our active transportation network, surrounded by residential homes.”

McArthur noted he walks in the area frequently and believed the bend in the road can be dangerous.

“I think it’s a fantastic motion,” he said. “Hopefully the county sees it that way.”

Councillor Molly Allaire believe “municipal leaders should just listen to municipal leaders” and “I feel like bringing up two issues is not going to lessen their ears.

Prue said he didn’t believe it would make much difference when it was brought up, but believed Amherstburg had more notices of motions for traffic issues than the rest of Essex County combined.

Pouget said “time is of the essence” and noted people have asked for Pouget to watch how they have to cross that area of the street.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen,” she said. “It’s important we bring this up as quickly as possible.”

Courtney believed it could be considered an extension to a study Amherstburg has already requested.

Allaire said it should be done in July as it wouldn’t be discussed until late summer or in September otherwise. Gibb said he was trying to be “strategic” in his request.

“My gut is telling me the day is going to come where the rest of county council is going to say no. I’m trying to be strategic with this to maximize the probability of success,” he said. “If council wants to do it at the next meeting, make that motion and we will do our best.”

Council resolved to introduce the motion at the July meeting. Town to request county for intersection improvements at Sandwich St. S. and Lowes Side Road

By Ron Giofu

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