Burk's Falls food truck owner trying to improve customer safety after vehicle hits business

It's closed for the season, but next spring the owner of the Curb Your Appetite food truck on Ontario Street in Burk's Falls hopes to have protective barriers in place to keep her customers safe from motor vehicles.

Marta Rodgers has sent a letter to town council asking about protective measures after a vehicle crashed into the food truck after business hours.

Rodgers told council that she talked to the OPP who told her the vehicle was being driven at close to 100 kilometres an hour and added video surveillance confirms the speed.

The speed limit through the built up part of Ontario Street is 40 kilometres an hour.

In the letter, Rodgers also points out that in the last three years there have been three instances of motor vehicles hitting three different businesses resulting in significant damage.

Rodgers told council she's worried about this especially since her customers eat outdoors at three picnic tables she has spread in front of her truck.

Rodgers believes had the collision occurred during business hours, someone would surely have died.

To keep this from happening, Rodgers is asking council to talk to her about installing a concrete barrier or steel posts between her business and the town's property line.

Council debated the issue at length and noted there are several issues that make finding a solution difficult.

For example, council said erecting barriers on Ontario Street in front of the food truck may interfere with winter maintenance.

Council noted that Curb Your Appetite has a different and higher exposure on Ontario Street because the picnic tables are along the roadway.

Council said a car or truck could jump the curb anywhere along Ontario Street meaning a barrier in one location and not at other sites is not a permanent solution.

At one point members of council suggested maybe the picnic tables can be placed further away from the street on a road allowance the municipality owns.

But in a follow-up meeting staff learned this potential location for the picnic tables is where the food truck was struck.

At this time, staff doesn't have a solution for Rodgers but is doing more work on her request.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget