Small Tay community looking for safer speeds on Old Fort Road

·2 min read

A medical condition prevents Connie from crossing the road to fetch mail or to visit neighbours without the assistance of Kyle. She had related that her neighbour had also lost a pet last year, much like the tragedy with Ripley, in a similar incident.

Within the 80 kilometre-per-hour zone, almost 40 properties are located from the north end of Old Fort Road to the intersection of Elliott Sideroad to the south; the Rosenbergers are in a cluster of nearly a dozen of those. Only a small amount of gravel shoulder is available before a steep culvert slopes downward on either side of the paved surface; not enough space for a vehicle to safely pull over or a pedestrian to walk.

“This is a community,” Kyle said. “We can’t be a community if we can’t even cross the road.”

At the time of the incident, Daniel spoke to the OPP who offered to place an increased presence along the road, which he knew couldn’t be enforced as a full-time exercise.

In contacting the municipality, Tay Township staff expressed condolences for Ripley and pointed Daniel to the County of Simcoe transportation and engineering department which has jurisdiction over speed limits on Old Fort Road.

According to the speed limit page of the Simcoe County website, written requests made to the transportation department could initiate “engineering and traffic studies necessary for establishment of speed zones, including prevailing speed studies, collision history investigations, and investigation of highway, traffic, and roadside conditions not readily apparent to the driver” if granted.

Daniel had visited the website and described the prescribed effort of pursuing traffic calming for his community as “a herculean effort to move mountains,” but stated intent on following through.

“When I’m going south on Old Fort Road and I’m making a left to go in my driveway, I put my signal on at the top of the hill. And my eyes are just glued to the rear view mirror to make sure nobody’s coming up close,” said Daniel. “It can be a rather nerve-wracking experience.”

In 2019, a request regarding school bus concerns in Thornton warranted a reduction by county council following a four-day speed survey involving approximately 76,000 vehicles.

Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca

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