Director of engineering and development services, Rod Bovay, said residents shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for a traffic light on the busy street.
“Not at anytime in the foreseeable future, I don’t think at this point the lights will be put in, but that’s still something to be discussed by Belleville and Quinte West,” he said.
In Dec. 2013, Quinte West approved to have a traffic light put in the intersection, but is still waiting for Belleville to commit.
Bovay said the city has looked into the intersection, but does not see a need for the light.
“It went to the city’s traffic committee and it was investigated,” he said. “At that time there wasn’t enough traffic to meet the warrants to justify traffic lights there.”
Both municipalities jointly own Wallbridge-Loyalist Road, explained Bovay. Both municipalities evenly share all infrastructure, construction and road maintenance.
“They (Quinte West) came back last year and wanted to put a roundabout in there. Again that issue was discussed at council at budget time and again referred to the traffic committee,” he said.
Bovay said he doesn’t believe the traffic committee has taken any action to a roundabout.
“Certainly if there is no justification for traffic lights, I myself don’t see any point in spending on a roundabout,” he said.
It would cost each municipality $50,000 to put in a set of lights and $500,000 for a roundabout, said the city official.
“I believe it would be a million for a roundabout by the time any property was acquired that was needed and construction, those are not cheap to construct,” he said.
In his opinion, the money could be better spent elsewhere, said Bovay.
“I think there’s busier intersections in Belleville that would be more of a priority than that intersection,” he said.
Quinte West city councillor Sally Freeman said the issue is not about traffic flow, but safety.
“It’s a busy intersection and it can be absolutely treacherous trying to turn left out of there,” she said.
When the college gets out and there are highway closures, the intersection can be twice as dangerous, she said.
“I thought it was pretty much agreed that it had to be done, maybe they have other priorities,” she said.
Freedman said she was under the impression the consensus was the intersection needed to be done.
“We’ll have to get our guys to call their guys and see what their thinking is,” she said.
The councillor says she is pushing to get a roundabout put in the intersection.
“One car can set off a traffic light and then everyone is sitting at a red light. Whereas you get a better flow of traffic when a roundabout is put in,” she said.
“The last I heard roundabouts seem to be up for discussion,” she said.
It is not the first time the municipalities collaborated to put lights in the shared road. A set of lights was installed in 2012 at the intersection of Wallbridge-Loyalist Road and Moira Street West.
Bovay said, like Hamilton Road, there wasn’t enough traffic flow, but the lights were put in because there is a reduced visibility because of the hill.
“It was a bit of a dangerous situation. There was a safety concern there with traffic coming over the hill and cars turning left onto Wallbridge Loyalist,” he said.
Source: The Belleville Intelligencer