AS REGULAR READERS will undoubtedly recall, I am not a fan of some of the changes to traffic patterns that have been foisted on us, the latest, which I have touched on before, being the right-turn lane that forces traffic to leave what was once a through lane on McNabb to now turn right onto Elmwood.
Carl Rumiel, Manager, Design & Transportation Engineering, with the city, some time ago explained to me the rationale for the change.
“From the east, we extended the three-lane configuration further to the east by dropping the westbound curb lane to a right turn only lane forcing vehicles to move right, again slowing traffic,” he told me in an email..
“It is safer to do a lane drop by making a compulsory right turn in the curb lane than by dropping the middle lane (which would become a left turn lane). The former is safer because in the latter alternative, speeds tend to be higher and it is more dangerous to be caught in a no-man’s land.”
This is in reference to how it was, where the curb lane traffic had the right of way on McNabb, with the inside lane being able to make a left turn or merge right.
Rumiel acknowledged the change has been frustrating for some motorists to get used to, but said at that point there had not been any reported accidents and it had been effective in slowing traffic through the problem area further west.
I have seen two cars use the curb lane to make a right turn onto Elmwood.
I have seen some vehicles in both the curb and inside lanes jockeying for position, those in the curb lane attempting to merge left in order to travel about 30 feet before signalling to go back into the curb lane.
If the change makes perfect sense to you, I would say you qualify as a traffic expert.
It makes no sense at all to me.
I AM BEGINNING to wonder if repairing bridges in Northern Ontario is something that really needs to be done or are they really just make-work projects.
This has been the situation from at least Sudbury to Thunder Bay for years.
We have had our share in Algoma and now we have another, the bridge to St. Joseph Island.
This was worked on pretty well all of last year, the bridge being cut down to one lane with traffic lights put in to control traffic.
I don’t know about you, but I thought the job was finished, traffic running freely over it for several months.
But I noted a few weeks back that the workers were back, traffic back to one lane.
I think some organization could make some money running a lottery in regard to when the job will be finished, nailing it down to the exact hour of a day rather than simply this year or next.
You have to wonder if anyone in government actually keeps track of what these projects are costing us taxpayers.
RENAL PATIENTS were called and given appointments for the COVID-19 Community Vaccine Hub Algoma Public Health ran in GFL Memorial Gardens last weekend.
Then they were called to cancel the appointments.
Apparently the renal clinic at Sault Area Hospital had misunderstood that it was not all renal patients who were determined to be eligible to get their second shots of the vaccine, but only those whose immune systems had been compromised because they had undergone kidney transplants.
Considering appointments had been made, I can’t see why they didn’t leave well enough alone.
After all, it would still have been getting the shots into the arms of people who could really use them. Those on dialysis and those with very low kidney function could easily fit into the immune-compromised category, since in their condition the virus could very well take them out.
But they are now lumped in with the rest of us, a four-month wait before we can get a second shot.
Watching the vaccine get into the arms of millions of Americans in a day, it is hard to accept what is happening in our country, with vaccines coming into places like the Sault in a trickle.
It hasn’t gone without notice in the community
Dr. David Fera , Algoma Ontario Health Team tri-chair, recently told Sault Area Hospital board of directors virtual meeting that local heath officials have been “taking a lot of heat” from the community for its handling of the distribution of the vaccine here.
He thinks the criticism is misguided and so do I.
It is a simple fact that APH can only put into the arms of people the number of vaccines it receives. And this number has taken a hit because of the Ontario government expanding eligibility.
As far as I am concerned, APH has done a fine job. The clinics are well-organized, people being put through quickly and efficiently.
By the time you read this, probably more than 18,000 area residents will have gotten their first shot of a vaccine.
I have no doubt that that number would have been tripled, possibly even quadrupled, if the vaccine had been available in greater quantities.
I GOT A SURPRISE this week when I purchased tickets online for the ARCH and Sault Area Hospital Foundation Lotteries and SAHF’s five-car draw.
I had found it time consuming having to type in all my information as I have been buying tickets not only for myself, but for a group of us who consider the lotteries as an investment in a good cause.
So I was going to suggest to these two groups that they update their systems so a person’s information can be kept on file.
But lo and behold, when I typed my first name in this time, up it popped. Once I clicked on it, all the rest filled in, leaving me only to type in the three-digit number on the back of my credit card.
Made my day.