Orangeville resident laments increased traffic

June 22, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By James Matthews, Local Journalism Initative Reporter

Orangeville resident Susan Schuurman is concerned about traffic congestion in town.

And the Benjamin Crescent resident brought those concerns to the town council on June 19. She said increased traffic is altering the nature of Orangeville, its charm and historical ambiance that many people have worked over the years to promote.

Such facets of the town are slowly being eroded by the speed and noise of too many vehicles, she said.

“I think it’s reasonable to predict that this will only increase with further urban density,” Schuurman said.

She took umbrage with the hiccup-like stop-and-go movement of driving through town that’s increased, she said, as more traffic lights are erected.

As the town grows, so too will the number of traffic lights and traffic jams, she said.

She wondered if the annoyance brought by increased traffic is one of the reasons people choose to not move their families to Orangeville.

She said better transportation design might increase road safety and yield better intersections.

“A roundabout might be a partial solution,” Schuurman said. “Instead of stop-and-go with emissions by waiting, a positive aspect would be to increase the traffic flow that might ease some driving stress.”

She said she wants to see “ambitious outlier thinking” on the issue with action from the town council.

“Growth is occurring so quickly now,” she said. “The roads are increasingly hectic. Drivers are increasingly aggressive. It has also become increasingly dangerous on Orangeville roads.”

Roundabouts could be “greened up” to add to the town’s beauty, she said. They could replace some of the intersections with architecturally attractive features that use nature and the town’s history to enhance tourism prospects.

“Think of the downtown water feature,” Schuurman said. “Think of the lovely carved wooden statues that we have.”

Councillor Andy Macintosh said the previous council synchronized the Broadway traffic lights to improve vehicle flow.

“It certain keeps Broadway moving … quite a bit better than it was before,” he said.

He supports constructing roundabouts on Orangeville thoroughfares.

“You’re preaching to the choir,” Deputy Mayor Todd Taylor said.

Taylor said speed on town streets is the number one complaint council hears from the public.

“People are definitely disrespecting the rules of the road,” he said, adding that the town has changed speed limits in certain areas to 40 kilometres per hour to slow motorists.

And there’s good traffic policing by the OPP in town.

“But there’s lots of work to be done,” Taylor said. “And the truth is, the only way to have it done is enforcement, and enforcement is expensive.

“We’re trying to be smart with our money as we go about doing that.”

He said traffic noise will be discussed when the police services board next meets.

Tim Kocialek, the town’s general manager of infrastructure, said he’s a fan of roundabouts, particularly entering a town as it changes scenery from a highway drive.

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