Another dangerous rural intersection in Niagara-on-the-Lake is getting a four-way stop.
Resident Tony Giordano convinced NOTL council to approve changes to the intersection of Church and McNab roads and to reduce speeds along Church.
“Church Road is the only direct throughway to Virgil. This presents a very dangerous situation where sight lines are obscured between the McNab and Church Road intersection,” Giordano told councillors on April 25.
Giordano said he was chosen to represent residents and businesses near Church and McNab.
He recounted several instances over the past 20 years where poor sight lines combined with a high speed limit on Church Road resulted in bad crashes.
“Joanne and Karen’s house is at the top of the hill. Approximately five years ago a car avoided a collision by driving off McNab into their side yard, taking out three pear trees which were 35 years old,” he said.
“Do you know how fast that person had to be going to knock off three pear trees at 35 years old? They no longer allow their grandchildren to play outside on half of their property.”
Among a litany of other near-misses described by Giordano, the NOTL resident made a simple request of the town.
“Is this council willing to say the buck stops here or do we continue the battle hoping not to become a stat so someone can update their database?” he asked.
Lord Mayor Betty Disero was particularly supportive of Giordano’s request, noting the town had received emails and letters from dozens of residents and businesses in the area asking for the change.
“I’ll just mention a few: The Muellers, McNab Acres, Thwaites Farms, J&R Plumbing, Meyers Farms and greenhouses, Niagara Orchard Vineyard Corporation, Pillitteri's, Lakeview Equipment, even Julie Taylor from the Stone Road Pharmacy,” Disero said.
“These people have been asking for assistance on this intersection for years and years and years.”
Disero noted the intersection sits in a gully, so approaching cars gather speed as they travel downhill toward the crossing.
Giordano said the area is used extensively by farm vehicles, adding increased danger to the already-unsafe intersection.
Coun. Gary Burroughs, while supportive of the installation at this particular intersection, asked why it was OK for the town to go ahead and install a stop sign without doing a proper study first.
“Are we just making up our own rules?” Burroughs asked his fellow councillors.
Several councillors agreed that it is important to conduct the appropriate research before changing an intersection but said this particular one is an exceptional circumstance as it has been the cause of concern for years.
Council unanimously supported a motion to install a four-way stop at the intersection and to reduce speeds along Church Road to 60 km/h from 80 km/h between Concession 6 and Read Road.
Evan Saunders, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report