By Chris Pickup

Two and a half years after Haldimand council initiated a study of Caledonia’s Haddington and Argyle Street intersection, council has decided on …. A traffic signal?

Back in December 2015, the county retained CIMA Canada Inc to conduct a review of the intersection with a view to safety for pedestrians and vehicles. $25,000 later, in May 2017, CIMA came back to council with five options, the preferred one being a mini roundabout.

Of the five options put forward by Stephen Keen, Associate Partner, Director Transportation Planning CIMA, a mini roundabout appeared to be the most favourable, although the most expensive at a cost of $923,000. It will also require 0.2 acre land acquisition to accommodate it. However it is rated excellent in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety.

Adding to the complexity of the intersection are separate driveways to the Riviera retirement residence, a commercial plaza and an access road between the two, all on the west side of Argyle directly across from Haddington. Directly northeast of Haddington on Argyle is the wide entrance to the MacDonald’s plaza.

Coun. Dalimonte noted at the time that pedestrian flow is a big concern. Although there have been no pedestrian collisions, mainly car to car, there is a lot of pedestrian traffic that needs to be dealt with.

“Turning west on Haddington is a disaster waiting to happen,” coun. Grice agreed. “People don’t want to be anywhere near that intersection and go to other roads they shouldn’t be on to avoid it. There are so many driveways.

“I’ve had many requests to improve the intersection, especially the Riviera, plaza and access to the old pumping station”.

“It’s documented (roundabouts) reduce collisions by 80% and reduce injuries by 75%,” Grice said. “And there’s a 50% reduction in speeding. It’s a great way to move forward.”

Keen noted better lighting is needed. And he agreed if the roundabout is built, some sort of public education should be held on how to use it.

Accordingly the county issued a request for proposal on the intersection, with the successful bidder required to consult with CIMA during the process. A public meeting was held this June for input from interested parties.

Surfacing this week on social media was the following notification to a resident who had commented on the proposal.

“Thank you for providing your comments related to the class EA study options for the Argyle street at Haddington Street Intersection Improvements project.  Based on the evaluation of the four options (Do Nothing, Traffic Signal, 4-Leg Roundabout and 3-Leg Roundabout) and public comments received, the County will be proceeding with the implementation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Argyle Street and Haddington Street. Although the roundabout alternative is a safe and viable option, due to the concerns expressed by the public, including pedestrian safety and property access, the county will be proceeding to detailed design of the preferred solution – traffic signals.

“Our project team will be completing the Class EA study and filing the Notice of Completion in the coming months. The Project File Report (PFR) documenting the planning process undertaken and conclusions reached for each of the alternatives will be placed on public record for 30 calendar days for review by the public and review agencies. Subject to the comments received as a result of the Notice of Completion, the County intends to proceed with the implementation of the recommendations included in the PFR.”

So there you have it … four traffic signals in the short stretch of Argyle Street South between Kinross and the Sixth Line, a still weirdly convoluted intersection, and a mass of different driveways leading onto Argyle.

We look forward to reading the Project File Report.