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Changed location of Bloomfield crossover puts project back to citizens for input

Council has deferred a decision to approve spending $125,000 on a new pedestrian crossover for downtown Bloomfield, seeking further input from the village’s citizens and business operators, as well as legal input.

A new crossover cannot simply be reconstructed at its former location adjacent to Corey Street due to requirements and guidelines from the Ministry of Transportation, as Bloomfield Main is a provincial connecting link.

Its proposed new location puts the crossover closer to the post office and removes a parking spot on either side of the road (used heavily by those stopping at the post office) due to the crossover’s required no stopping zones (the hash marks on the diagram above). It was noted one parking spot closest to Mill Street would remain.

“Residents sacrifice parking all summer long,” noted councillor Phil Prinzen. “They don’t want to do it all year long,” he said, suggesting council forget doing a crossover all-together, or rethink the project.

The relocation of the crossover drew ire from citizens, which was passed along to councillors, and from the Bloomfield Area Business Association (BABA).

On the premise of a simple rebuild, the crossover originally had the support BABA, over a second location choice at the Bloomfield Town Hall.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, council asked staff to re-think the Town Hall location, consult with the public with concept designs, and also find out if there are liability issues if no crossover is built – because a study exists that confirms pedestrian and vehicle counts warrant full traffic signals, or this compromise of a crossover.

Patrick Muloney, BABA treasurer, spoke at council’s meeting, to state BABA has rescinded its support. He had stated in an email to Bloomfield councillors that “The board was shocked by the cost of the project, and the fact that the design would remove two short-term parking spaces available to Bloomfield residents to access the post office. The consensus of the BABA board is that we are withdrawing our support for the project and feel that this design needs to be presented to our membership for input and discussion before it gets finalized by council.”

Muloney notes BABA had previously been asked where the crossover should be located and chose the location adjacent to Corey Street over a new one at the Town Hall location as it had functioned well at that location for many years.

“Given that the old one had worked for years, it would be cheaper to reactivate it than build a new one somewhere else on the Main Street,” said Muloney. “Everyone who lived in Bloomfield knew where it was and with the Love Song project set to rehabilitate the school (with senior housing), it made the most sense to the board. But there was no public input requested that we were aware of.”

The Town Hall location would also result in the loss of two parking stalls and the Town Hall loading zone, but it was noted it is further away from the congested intersection of Corey, Mill and Main streets, and the Town Hall does have a driveway to behind that could be used for loading. It was also noted the location is closer to most of the shops and seemed to be the natural choice of people in the area.

An accident on Wellington Main Street in 2017 that resulted in the death of a pedestrian, and high traffic volumes throughout the County from growth and tourism created discussion on pedestrian crossings. Consulting firm, Jewell Engineering Inc., was engaged to complete a Crosswalk Warrant Study in Wellington, Bloomfield and Picton.

That study concluded that based on the traffic analysis and setting, that mid‐block traffic signals were warranted on Wellington Main Street and Bloomfield Main Street. The study also concluded a multi-stop pedestrian crossover was warranted on Union Street in Picton. That has since been implemented and work on the Wellington crossover is almost complete.

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    This is so typical of MTO – the provincial government turned over the responsibility and costs to the municipality for highways, but maintains control over what can be done to them. In reality, what is the difference between the two locations – not much! The province would rather interfere than to help pay for the crosswalk.

    Now, when can residents and our council start demanding the same kind of attention from MTO for other cost items – Hwy49 repairs, intersections at country roads and Hwy62 – when we know that “High Collision Intersection” signs really don’t work and they can’t be seen at night?

  2. Dan says:

    Kudos to council for revisiting new cross walk location, and requesting public consultation. It is refreshing, thank you.
    Wish this same common sense approach was applied to ridiculous parking restrictions and fines, sadly it was not.

  3. Susan says:

    To me, put it wherever, but why would a simple crossover cost $125,000. Ridiculous to install açcessible curbs,lights and some line painting, I am obviously missing something but right now I do not get it.

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