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Collision at County Road 1 and Hwy. 62 another reminder of pleas for roundabout

Emergency services respond to collision Monday at the County Road 1 and Hwy 62 intersection. – Dale Miller photo

Prince Edward OPP and Fire and Rescue services were called to County Road 1 and Hwy. 62 before noon Monday in response to a collision at the intersection. Both vehicles were heavily damaged, but drivers and passengers were not seriously injured.

And though the County continues its pleas for a roundabout to fix the high-collision and near-miss intersection, the province is slow to move through its process.

In July, the first of two public information meetings was launched online, welcoming comment about two improvement ideas of six explored. One was signals with left turn lanes; the other was the locally-preferred option of a roundabout.

In October 2022, residents in the area had received notices of preliminary design and environmental assessment for intersection improvements.

Public comment ended in August. Once the short list of intersection alternatives has been confirmed, they will be carried forward for a more detailed evaluation that will consider engineering, community and environmental criteria and a second community meeting will be scheduled – suggested for this fall – to present a “preferred plan”.

The MTO conducted traffic observations in the spring of 2022 and reported several near miss collisions at the intersection and that compliance with existing traffic control was low.

It also notes that despite signage and an overhead flashing beacon there continues to be safety concerns.

The municipality had approached the ministry about the accident-prone intersection in 2020 but failed to garner support. In 2021, MPP Todd Smith and PEC OPP detachment commander Staff Sgt. John Hatch joined the mayor on site with minister of transportation Caroline Mulroney.

The roundabout at Highway 33 and County Road 1 just west of Picton was Ontario’s first highway roundabout intersection – opening in July 2009 after the County lobbied “to do something”. That pilot is now being repeated throughout the province.

Upon its official opening, the then minister of transportation stated studies have shown roundabouts reduce motor accidents by an average of 39 per cent and injury crashes by 76 per cent.

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