Awesome repairs, silly signs

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We take a lot of things for granted in our day-today lives. When was the last time you were worried, while driving, that a bridge might collapse underneath you? Never? Same with me. It’s easy to criticize white collar workers like engineers and government officials, but the work they do is just as important as the grunt work that keeps society moving. I have no interest in tracking the age and safety of every bridge I drive over, so I appreciate the fact that experts do it for me.

The County Road 43 bridge over the South Nation River in Chesterville is currently under rehabilitation. I could easily add in some kind of arrogant quip like “it’s about time!”, but that would be misleading. I had no idea the bridge needed rehabilitation until the proposed rehabilitation was announced. I suspect the same can be said for most motorists. Thanks, pencil pushers!

I greatly appreciate the repairs, and the cost savings to taxpayers from the fact that Council opted to have the bridge entirely closed during the work, rather than opening one lane at a time. One thing that leaves something to be desired, however, is the placement of the road closure signs when entering Chesterville via County Road 43 from the west or east.

These signs were placed by the Counties to direct traffic onto alternative county roads for a detour route. This makes sense – the Counties generally only use their own roads for detour routes. However, anyone with any knowledge of Chesterville at all is not going to use the Counties detour route to get around the village. The route uses County Roads 7 and 9. It is much faster to go right through town. This applies most for those with a living and working situation that requires commuting between Winchester and Chesterville. People with local geographical knowledge are not about to drive out of their way because a sign says to do so.

My oldest son has soccer in Chesterville. The infinitely more efficient route to get there requires us to consider ourselves “local traffic” and drive around the road closure sign. My parents live in Avonmore – to get there, I refuse to use County Road 9 coming from South Mountain. It’s out of the way. It is more efficient to go through Chesterville, even with the 40km/h speed limit. I would estimate that 90% of the cars I see approaching the road closure sign west of town go around it. Chesterville is a vibrant town with plenty of amenities and a solid economy. It is not surprising that so many people are driving TO it, not AROUND it.

The placement of the road closure signs in the middle of the traffic lanes at both ends of town is – in a word – silly. It requires a significant number of cars to enter the oncoming traffic lane in order to proceed. Easily more than half, and potentially even most of the cars approaching town, go around the sign. It’s an accident waiting to happen. I have even observed a car recently passing the sign on the right to avoid an oncoming car. The dust made me think, for a brief moment, that he took the ditch. Motorists are not giving themselves enough reaction time, because they are not used to yielding to oncoming traffic on a busy highway without some kind of control, or at least a yield sign. The signs should be moved to the side of the road. Chesterville is open for business, and County Road 43 is much more than just a bypass route.

1 COMMENT

  1. 43 is indeed very busy and in that traffic are semi trucks, trailers and other very large vehicles who cannot manoeuvre around the corner by the gas station. If the sign wasn’t in the middle of the road, we would be seeing a lot of accidents in town involving the large vehicles that rely on that route. A car is one thing. Yes, I go around in my car. Do you want to do that hauling a 30 foot trailer though? The sign is where it is for safety. Pure and simple logic.

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