No decision made yet whether to reduce Highway 26 speed again this summer

·2 min read

Work is still underway to find a solution for high volumes of traffic on Highway 26 between Collingwood and Thornbury.

“Town staff have provided the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) with traffic speed and volume data and a preliminary assessment for their review relating to the temporary speed reduction of a section of Highway 26 in the TBM,” said Shawn Carey, director of operations for TBM.

This past summer, the Town of the Blue Mountains Mayor (TBM) Alar Soever made a plea to the MTO to lower the speed limit along Highway 26 for a stretch between Collingwood and Thornbury.

The MTO granted the request and dropped the speed limit from 80 km/h to 50 km/h from Delphi Lane to Grey Road 21, in both directions.

The speed limit remained at the decreased rate from mid-July to Oct. 13 with traffic data being collected through the same time period.

According to Carey, data collection is ongoing and further assessment and coordination with MTO is planned for the coming year.

In the fall, the MTO addressed TBM and Mayor Soever in a letter stating, “This information, along with further discussions with stakeholders such as the Ontario Provincial Police, will be considered as part of the review that we are undertaking,” stated Michael Nadeau, manager, engineering program delivery west for MTO.

According to Nadeau, MTO’s design and engineering staff, as well as staff from the provincial planning office, are “aware of the concerns and issues that have been raised by stakeholders in the area.”

“It is expected that the information...will be used to determine the next steps in planning for future short-term or long-term needs along Highway 26,” Nadeau said.

At this point, no decision has been made if the speed limit will be reduced again in 2021.

In the meantime, TBM staff have been working to address another traffic concern – the lights at Bruce Street North and King Street East.

“The town’s service provider has adjusted the pedestrian crossing light timing to better accommodate traffic flow while ensuring pedestrian safety,” Carey stated.

“This year, the same service provider will be making adjustments to the traffic lights at Bruce Street on behalf of Grey County and will give the opportunity to adjust the connectivity/timing between the two sets of lights.”

TBM is also in the process of developing a Transportation Master Plan through its Transportation Committee that will include insights and suggestions on how to improve the flow of traffic in and out of the municipality.

Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca