I read about the new traffic light on County Road 22 and Bennett Road and how it will make roads safer for North Grenville. Unfortunately, it tells me, as a resident of Whitney Road, that once Lafarge gets its pit into full production, we will be inundated with gravel and sand trucks.
Back in the day when Whitney Road was in the Township of South Gower, a pit was to be opened which would increase truck traffic on Whitney Road. There was a protest and an Ontario Municipal Board hearing was the result. It was proved that the intersection of Whitney Road and County Road 22 was unsafe for fully loaded dump trucks turning left onto County Road 22 off Whitney Road. It was also proved that Whitney Road was not wide enough for two large vehicles to pass each other safely. Before the OMB hearing, a school bus met a dump truck on Whitney Road where it passes through the wetlands. The dump truck would not move over and as a result, the school bus, with children on board, ended up in the wetlands. Thank goodness, it wasn’t on the side of the road where the water was deep.
Then amalgamation happened and the pit on Irishtown Road opened. Whitney Road ended up being the quickest route between the Bennett Road pit and the Irishtown Road pit. Then the same school bus met a dump truck in the wetlands. The bus was on the side where the water was deep and did not give way, so the dump truck ended up in the wetlands. Residents of Whitney Road went to the Council of the time and asked to have the speed limit on Whitney reduced to 60 km/h, but the Council refused to do that. At that time, there were two daycares located on Whitney Road in the blind dip on the road. Council did widen Whitney Road through the wetlands (I wouldn’t be surprised if the pit owners paid for that) and they put up a “Limited Visibility 50 km/h ” sign west of the blind dip and a “Children Playing” sign west of the wetlands.
Meanwhile, the current Council has paved Whitney Road and since this raised the road at my house, there is now a blind spot when pulling out of our laneway. Because the speed limit is still 80 km/h, this creates some very concerning situations. Every road north of us has been marked as 60 km/h making Whitney Road a raceway with some of the traffic exceeding the 80 km/h speed limit, even the sand and gravel trucks. Some of the drivers are really good and drive slowly where the houses are. A BIG thank you to those people.
There is still the issue of Whitney Road not being able to accommodate large vehicles passing safely. Thank goodness the Municipality did not put proper ditches on Whitney Road when they paved it. A large sand truck pulling a live bottom trailer met a farm tractor pulling a trailer out in front of our house. The sand truck was able to pull over into our laneway, but if there had been a ditch, the driver would not have been able to pull far enough over.
Recently, a resident of Whitney Road asked Council if the speed limit could be dropped to 60 km/h. They were told to get a petition. What do I say to that? Put up the 60 km/h signs and make Whitney Road safer, just like the County and Lafarge have done by installing those traffic lights!