By Chad Ingram
Published March 27 2018
The County of Haliburton will perform a traffic count at Industrial Park Road and County Road 21 in Haliburton village before it proceeds with a number of recommendations for the corridor set out in a report from engineering firm AECOM Canada.
One of the recommendations is for the county to work with Curry Chevrolet Buick GMC Ltd to restrict public access between County Road 21 and Mallard Road via a private roadway on the Curry property by installing a gate at Mallard Road. The route is used by many residents who travel to and work on Industrial Park Road to avoid the intersection at Industrial Park and County Road 21.
Dysart et al Mayor Murray Fearrey had concerns that restricting access to Mallard Road would cause considerable traffic congestion at the Industrial Park intersection.
“The reason they’re going around there now is because they get out on Industrial Park Road they can’t get out onto [County Road] 21” Fearrey said. “So if you block that off you’re going to compound the problem there. There’s 100 cars coming out of there at five o’clock quarter after five. So they’re going up around the other way and the way they could go if you don’t block it off at Mallard is come down and come out the lights at the Independent.”
“The issue is it’s private property so people are driving on private property” said county planner Charlsey White adding that eventually that area would likely be developed.
“You’re going to have an awful jam-up down at the other road that’s what I’m telling you so we’re not doing anything to solve that” Fearrey said. “There’s going to be a lot of unhappy people because they’re going to sit there for 15 and 20 minutes.”
Algonquin Highlands Mayor Carol Moffatt thought blocking traffic to Mallard at least temporarily was needed to get a true picture of the traffic volume on Industrial Park Road.
“I think that’s necessary to find out what the true traffic counts are and so maybe there could be some signage or something that says you know ‘study in progress expect delays’ just to let people know” Moffatt said.
“It should be dealt with before a lot of this other stuff” said Fearrey. While there are some items from the report that are scheduled to be completed in the upcoming year – such as the construction of a left-hand turning lane at the location of the new Walker’s Home Hardware store – the numerous recommendations in the study are to be completed over a number of years.
Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin suggested that rather than blocking traffic the county could perform a less invasive traffic count by counting cars at both locations and combining totals.
White said that the results may warrant some kind of alteration at the Industrial Park Road intersection something not included in the report.
The county has awarded the contract for the construction of the left-hand turning lane on County Road 21 to Fowler Construction. The approximate $100000 price tag will be shared between the county and the hardware store’s ownership.