Monday, November 26, 2007

Highway 26 Speed Limit

The recent articles pertaining to the newly posted speed limts on the east and west side of Collingwood were certainly brought home to me yesterday. While travelling west to Thornbury on Highway 26 I couldn't help but feel how painfully slow it has become leaving Collingwood. I was beginning to wonder if my transmission was slipping but realized I was keeping up with the traffic ahead. With the newly posted speed limit of 50 km per hour I swear the trip to Thornbury is 10 minutes longer and this will become worse once the new traffic light is installed west of Georgian Manor Resort. With the ever increasing traffic we are seeing in the area it hardly seems appropriate to be restricting it further with ridiculously low speed limits especially on an artery this is essentially a "highway."
No one, myself included will argue the need for reduced speeds in school zones such as the Pretty River Academy to the west of Collingwood. One might ask however is why would a municipal government allow for a school to built on what is a provincial highway, one that is only going to get busier and should in fact be widened. We could ask the same question of our municipal planners as to why we have commercial businesses on industrial land, a courthouse and grocery store on the waterfront of a town whose economy is significantly tourism based but that is for another post. Unless for a special event the students are not typically at school during the evening or weekends or for two months in the summer, yet the 50 km per hour zone exists 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. Many school zones have reduced speed limits before classes commence, at the end of the day when students are leaving and during lunch hours all these times are duly noted with "flashing signs" which probably garners more driver attention anyway. Perhaps this option was considered but I suspect it wasn't.
The reduced limit will no doubt be a cashcow of revenue for the local constabulary but is that what we want visitors to the area to remember us for? Like them or not, Intrawest as a corporation has based their success on drawing visitors to their resorts not just once but again and again with the focus on extending their visitor's length of stay and creating valued memories. I am afraid and in fact hear regularly from clients that with all of the growth and traffic congestion in Collingwood, they are looking elsewhere ie: Thornbury for their next place of residence. The problem is at 50 km per hour they can't leave town fast enough! Hey, maybe that's the strategy behind all this.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.