Millroy: Will New Council Fix This Mistake?

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In my column last week I excoriated the city’s Public Works and Traffic officials for allowing line-painters from Guelph to screw up the configuration at the intersection of Albert and East Streets and council for sitting idly by in acceptance.

I said I was bringing up this problem intersection again now in the hope that the new council will step up and do something about it, indicating that the previous council didn’t seem to have the will to go up against a city department, even when the mistake that had been made was so obvious.

It was pointed out to me that the previous council had gone against Public Works and Traffic previously.

It did so in regard to the traffic lights at the intersection of Wallace Terrace and Goulais Avenue.

PWT recommended taking out the lights and going with a four-way stop as traffic studies showed there was no longer enough traffic at the intersection to warrant lights.

Council voted to go along with then Ward 6 representatives Joe Krmpotich and Ross Romano to keep the lights.

There was no offer of a badge of honour for council’s move from the person who pointed out the discrepancy in my column.

It was simply to point how differently the two intersections, Albert and East as opposed to Wallace Terrace and Goulais, were viewed.

Neither PWT nor council saw any safety problem with the screw-up at Albert and East where there is a lot of traffic; PWT saw no danger at Wallace Terrace and Goulais in recommending the lights be taken out whereas council somehow apparently did.

Frank Fata, who in a few days will be former councillor Fata, spoke out about the change at Albert and East last week in a way I wish he had when he was in office.

“Say Albert Street continued towards Wellington Street East in a straight line direction, the two lanes would simply continue in an easterly direction. But because there’s a bend in the road with an option to merge on to Wellington Street West, we suddenly have all this unnecessary commotion.

“This is not rocket science, folks. If you’re travelling north on East Street you safely merge (there is a yield sign on East) into the right lane. If you’re in the left lane heading east on Albert St., you can ease off and head West on Wellington Street or continue on to Wellington East – simple, safe and the right way to do this.

“As it is now, it is wrong and should be put back to the way it was before this mess was created by the “so-called” experts.”

One person who commented on the column suggested that if Coun. Matthew Shoemaker doesn’t want to support a motion for it to be changed back there is no chance of putting attention on the problem.

I was quoting Shoemaker as saying that although he supported changing the configuration back to the way it was, from the feedback he had gotten from his colleagues he believed it would be futile to bring forward such a motion.

His quote was in regard to his colleagues from the previous council, at the time in 2016 when this was an issue. It might be a different story with this council with five being newbies and possibly coming in with fresh perspectives.

We can only hope..

A story in Sault This Week has left me with the thought that more has to be done to impress upon people that discarded needles used for administering drugs should not be ignored when they come upon them..

Sara McCleary wrote about a child who got a needle stuck in his foot when he was kicking leaves on a lawn while walking with his mother.

The mother said her two-year-old son stopped and started saying “feet” and then lifted his foot. She saw a needle sticking out of the front of his shoe. She took the shoe off to check his foot and when she didn’t see any blood she threw the needle away from them.

She should have taken it with her for disposal.

With the needle being left there, someone else could now stumble onto it.

When the mother got home, she discovered the needle had gotten him between his toes. She took her son to Sault Area Hospital where he was given a prescription for 10 days of penicillin and instructions to have blood tests done in six weeks to see if any blood-borne illnesses surfaced.

Not really knowing any protocol for disposal, I called the police department.

Badge No. 1007 (that’s what I got when I asked to whom I was speaking) told me that if the needle is found on city property, the city’s public works people ( 705-759-5201) will come and get it.

If it is found on private property, it is up to the owner to dispose of it.

In something like the case at hand, I suppose it would be up to the person who found it to dispose of it or at least alert the owner of its presence.

“Sharps (needles) may pose a risk of physical harm or serious blood-borne infections if handled inappropriately,” Jon Bouma, manager of Infectious Diseases at Algoma Public Health, said in a release last spring. “It is important to pick up and dispose of them properly.

“If you find a needle on your property, use a pair of tongs, pliers or tweezers to pick up the needle with the needle pointing down and away from you. Place the needle in a hard plastic container, like a coffee container or water bottle that you can close tightly.”

These containers can be dropped off at the Household Hazardous Waste Depot located at the landfill site on Fifth Line, Algoma Public Health, 294 Willow Ave., and The John Howard Society, 27 King St..Badge No. 1007 said there also is a disposal box at the Neighbourhood Resource Centre on Gore Street.

Bouma pointed out the bins help with safe needle disposal, divert sharps away from the city landfill site and help protect public works staff who collect garbage.

With the snow covering we now have, discarded needles aren’t going to be as evident. But I think any time is the right to detail how to handle them.

 

6 COMMENTS

  1. Just wondering Doug…You say Shoe was behind you but wouldn’t put a motion because he didn’t think it wold get enough council support? So then it would seem that he was the poster boy for the Amazon bid not because he really believed it was successful but because he would have his media coverage increased. Since he was the most vocal proponent, please ask him why he has had no follow through on this (or many other issues) and why there has been seemingly little effort to harness the media attention for other initiates. Thank you for great opinions and keeping people honest.

  2. A truck practically side swiped me on Albert and East because of those stupid lines! Please fix them!

  3. The lines at Albert and East aren’t screwed up. There is signage and the road was painted with clear instructions as to which lanes go where… With respect to traffic flow though it would make sense to have both lanes eastbound from Albert like they used to be… Until then I’ll drive between the dotted lines

    • Sorry Joe, but they are very screwed up. Logic dictates that if you have two lanes of traffic turning into three lanes you hold the two lanes as the primary lanes and the third lane as a turn lane/exit lane. In the old case of this area the two lanes were the through lanes from Albert to East and then to Wellington. The new case has one of the through lanes turned into a turn lane which is ridiculous considering 99 per cent of the traffic volume is following the through lane situation.
      Sure, the line markings and instructions on the road are clearly visible but the entire set up is wrong which leads confusion for the driver in both lanes.

  4. More traffic screwups:

    No off ramp to hospital at great northen & lukenda drive. Could have been done across the northwest corner of the OPP lawn.

    Should be no exit from old garden river rd to gt northern rd except for emergency vehicles

    Right turn only from walmart to gt northern road is a free for all. People are constantly turning left from the exit. Daily near misses.

    Gore St at Akbert. Enough said.

    Removal of lights at Simpson. Has become a race track between church and pine.

    You can have three birthdays waiting for the lights to change at pine & mcnabb

    Lanes should be clearly marked heading south on bruce. Lane jockeying has become a sport

    Bay St into Queen. Am i turning? Am i going straight? OMG what lane am i in. Add northbound on Church to this one.

    • On your points – many good one I might add.

      Yes a turn lane or ramp style exit to the hospital should be built ASAP.

      Shutting down the exit lane from Old Garden to GNR would be an easier fix. Emergency vehicles already have a dedicated exit on to Northern Ave.

      As above, the Wal-Mart exit lane should be closed. Entrance only. Exit vehicles should go to light at Soo Mill.

      Gore and Albert are fine. No need for a needless light as traffic isn’t that high. Problem is that people aren’t paying attention to the stop sign(perhaps a flashing light would work).

      Traffic at Simpson St. didn’t warrant lights. I’ve used that intersection thousands of times. More tickets for speeding should be handed out on that stretch and everywhere else in the city. Every week they should select a problem street, get an officer(or two) on foot with a radar gun catching speeders and have 3 or 4 vehicles lined up to pull them over and ticket them. All traffic tickets within city boundaries should go to city not the province considering we pay for the road upkeep not the province. Trans-Canada portion should be at least a 50/50 split as we are paying for the policing of those stretches.

      Parking on Bruce St. should be eliminated along with clear lane markings for the turn at Albert and beyond. It’s a major corridor for traffic in the city and allowing parking on the street is ridiculous.

      Bay St. should have signs earlier regarding going to GNR. Church St. should have parking moved to other side of the east side of the street with a turn lane dedicated for a few hundred yards before the right turn on to Wellington.

      Some others.
      Pine St. should have a turn lane in the middle and parking on street banned during the day time.
      OR….widen the street to make it four lanes considering it is now a major north-south artery.

      Lake St. should have a turn lane in the middle and limited parking during the daytime as well.

      Second Line. Extend 4 lane portion to Allen’s Side Road. Seems to be an easy conversion as it would mainly require filling in ditches on both sides of the road.

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