By Chris Pickup

Seeing Ken Hewitt’s smiling face on the promotional photograph for SLOW DOWN signs makes me want to vomit.

The idea of SLOW DOWN signs to be posted across the county in high pedestrian and bicycle areas is on the face of it a good one. Certainly there have been a lot of traffic issues around schools.

But hypocritical Hewitt, along with his colleagues on council, has consistently refused to look at safety issues around the new site for the Cayuga Library, to the point where he asked one resident to stop emailing him on the issue.

Councillor Craig Grice, whose idea for the signs it was, is not much better. He and Hewitt were seen and heard at a council meeting cackling over the “death trap” that is Talbot Street, Cayuga, poking fun at those of us who take safety issues seriously.

The only reason Talbot Street at the hotel site has no big record of accidents is that pedestrians avoid that stretch of road, and for very good reasons. Watch this video to see some of them. Hewitt ignores it.

New Cayuga Library Proposed Site Along Busy Hwy. 3

Would you want your kids down there? Would you want your elderly aunt or grandma down there? How about moms with strollers. Or anyone using a wheelchair or walking assist device. The pedestrian sign at the light doesn’t last long enough for slower walkers like my husband to get across in time.

The hotel demolition squads will be coming in soon. Then the construction crews. And this council has done no safety survey, no traffic counts. Or even given it much consideration in their rush to spruce up the intersection.

The best option for that site is commercial. The county could have torn down the hotel and got the site shovel-ready for a commercial operation, maybe even a boutique hotel for tourists, and left the library on the village green site.

But no, they’d rather giggle in front of concerned citizens.

I hope they have their chequebooks out for the liability suits. I would make them personal.

The Haldimand Insurance Brokers are right to be pleased about the slow down signs, although what notice drivers will take of the signs is yet to be determined. They just chose the worst advocates to promote it.