MTO holds all the cards related to Highway 26 speed changes

·2 min read

Since the beginning of the year the Town of The Blue Mountains (TBM) has been working with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to develop a permanent plan for the speed limit along Highway 26 between Collingwood and Thornbury.

MTO is expected to unveil the plan at an upcoming council meeting, however TBM’s mayor confirms the presentation will be for informational purposes only.

“It's really just for information because we don't have a say in it,” said TBM Mayor Alar Soever. “So, I'm hoping that the plan that comes forward is going to keep most people happy.”

Last summer MTO reduced the speed limit from 80 km/h to 50 km/h from Delphi Lane to Grey Road 21 from July 10 to Oct. 13. The speed limit adjustment drew both applause and criticism from the public.

“You can't make everybody happy, and really, MTO is not focused on happiness, they're focused on safety,” Soever said. “I'm sure the plan that they come up with will address the safety issues and weigh those against moving the traffic in a timely manner.”

According to TBM’s transportation department, MTO has received, and taken into consideration, 75 pieces of correspondence from the public.

As previously reported, TBM is anticipating a report from MTO at its June 15 committee of the whole meeting.

“The plan will show what they're proposing in terms of the speed limit changes and where those would occur,” said Shawn Carey, director of operations for TBM.

Carey added that because it is a permanent change, “it does require a regulatory change under the Highway Traffic Act to implement.”

Town officials noted that the presentation to TBM council on June 15 will be a courtesy and not a discussion point as MTO is the regulatory authority of Highway 26.

The changes proposed will also be implemented on MTO’s timeline.

However, Soever said he is hoping to see the changes implemented sooner rather than later as the summer traffic is already on-route.

“When there's vehicles turning into Northwinds Beach and, if we have bylaw there managing capacity, there might be traffic backed up on the highway. You don't want people entering that situation at 80, 90 or 100 km/h,” Soever added.

Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,

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