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Council dumps Cherry Valley bumps that were supposed to be humps

Cherry Valley speed bumps that were supposed to be humps will be no more – as soon as possible – as council has heard loud and clear, many community voices reporting the pilot project to reduce speed in the village should be scrapped.

A dozen bumps were installed across three locations on County Road 10 on Dec. 7, a traffic calming move recommended by the Traffic Advisory Committee and approved by council last year.

The humps were part of a $30,000 pilot project that if determined effective, would be considered in other locations throughout the County. The pilot cost also included radar kits to capture data related to traffic, and speed.

Reaction to the bumps was immediate – on social media, to news media, councillors, municipal staff and garnered about 800 signatures on a petition.

Few disagree speeding is a problem in Cherry Valley, but most noted the bumps were not the solution due to numerous factors including challenges for farm equipment, increased road rage which included drivers honking their horns while travelling over the bumps, trying to avoid the bumps by driving on the sidewalk, and difficulties that may be presented to emergency vehicles.

The real problem, noted councillor Brad Nieman, was the County asked for “humps” not “bumps” whereas bumps have much higher elevation.

Nieman suggested council consider grinding the bumps to humps and continue the pilot as planned – though without the humps nearest the stop sign, which he noted, were not supposed to be placed there in the first place.

His motion received consideration, but lost in a 7-6 vote. Instead, council supported (10-3) a motion from Athol’s new councillor Sam Branderhorst to direct staff to have the bumps removed as soon as possible; and that a solution to traffic volumes and concerns about excessive speeding and other undesirable driver behaviour in the ward be explored by the appropriate advisory committee and the Ontario Provincial Police, and report back to council in April 2023.

The motion was the correct answer for about a dozen residents who attended council in person and by internet to present their opinions on why the bumps should go.

Several area farmers spoke to difficulty bringing their large equipment to a full stop at the bumps to navigate them and the concern that they often are already fodder for road rage for being slow moving vehicles. With the bumps in place, “things would only get worse” especially due to the many drivers who feel they must pass these large vehicles.

Others spoke to wear and damage to their cars, increased pain due to chronic back problems, and the fact that the reduction of speed to 40 km/h from 50km/h is annoying, but do-able.

One resident who noted he lived in the valley for 55 years spoke of taking his wife shopping, then to dinner and therefore went over 24 speed bumps in one day – more than in his lifetime. “It’s idiotic,” he declared.

Another suggested Cherry Valley would have to be renamed “Hump Valley”.

Councillor Phil Prinzen noted he had been in support of the humps (not bumps) last year, but having experienced the bumps and witnessing a vehicle drive on the sidewalk to avoid them, he agreed during the discussion that they must go.

“I supported these. I made a mistake and I need to fix it… They do need to be removed.”

Branderhorst stated she went back to homes of residents who expressed concerns about speeding during the election campaign, seeking balanced opinion from others who wanted pilot bumps to stay in place.

“The individuals I spoke to said they were not pro-speed humps. They did not know they were coming in, but they are ‘anti-speeding’ in Cherry Valley. So, if they were to work and slow down the speed and they weren’t dealing with harassment at their door, and with people honking in the day and night, it would be a different situation.”

CAO Marcia Wallace noted staff would have to investigate the process for removal as the County does not have the equipment to do it.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Mike Rodgers says:

    Chuck You are so right. You rarely see a police car on the main streets during summer. Where this is the busiest areas you would think this is where there should be a police presence. The old police force (OPP Picton police) did walk a beat and got to know the residents, not so much now, only drive around or park and wait for a call.

  2. Chuck says:

    Policing is a huge issue. We pay dearly thru taxes for the service. Paul St Picton which has been a detour route through a residential neighbourhood due to construction has been utter chaos. Speed is crazy! We have kids from kindergarten to grade 12 walking and crossing everyday. I have seen no police presence to ensure safety.

  3. Mike Rodgers says:

    Cars speeding, cars running yellow lights, cars going through red lights, cars creeping into intersection then going through red because of this. Persons nearly being run over at cross walks. I think the real problem may be the lack of the policing as the biggest issue here.

  4. Roland Gillespie says:

    Sadly, money was wasted on this project (which seemed like a good idea at the time). More unfortunate, however are these personal observations: people were deliberately speeding in between the humps just to prove the point that the humps aren’t going to deter speeders; vehicles were deliberately driving around the humps, going up on the curbs and sidewalks to avoid the speed deterrents; meanwhile there were reports of people honking their horns while driving over the humps, to deliberately annoy the neighbours who are presumed to have requested these humps… I’m inclined to believe speeders are gonna speed. What’s really sad is that we can’t trust drivers to respect the speed limit or the safety of other users of the road/sidewalks. Install photo cameras and start charging these speeders. How about designating the area as a Community Safety Zone where speeding fines are doubled? (It’s also probably time to make the two-way stop at the t-intersection a 3-way stop, as people seem to have forgotten how to stop.) Honestly, what’s the rush?

  5. Ryan Noth says:

    Those upset about this are so out of touch with modern safety and life. Anyone driving a normal car who has a problem with slowing down to accommodate these is out of their mind. Nora, you were hit head-on and don’t think this is a good idea? Seems odd you’d prefer Bond Road be better paved, than to not be in a car accident on a stretch of road where children and elderly are on the sidewalks.

  6. Administrator says:

    Cherry Valley speed bumps being removed Monday, Dec. 19

  7. CountyProud says:

    Somewhere along the way, “someone” removed several of the bump signs from some of the hump/bumps. Found that out in the dark of the night last night

  8. SS says:

    And this evening, I noticed that someone has removed the diamond shaped warning signs from the steel posts, warning motorists. They want people’s vehicles to be damaged when they approach at night and cannot readily see the humps?

  9. Nora Bowlby says:

    I understand that people speed through Cherry valley. I was actually in a head-on collision there due to the other party losing control on in icy conditions while speeding, but this project is over the top. Half as many half as high and the county could have used some of the asphalt they saved on Bond Road. It rivals any entry as the worst road in Ontario, let alone Prince Edward County.

  10. C R says:

    Get rid of the speed bumps, put the speed back up to 50kph, and erect speed cameras that issue tickets. Voila, done.

  11. Ryan Noth says:

    They are working. All trucks and drivers are actually slowing down. It’s ridiculous to take them out now. Would humps be better? Maybe. But they are actually doing what they are supposed to, and locals are being so ignorant of what it’s like to live in the actual valley itself (like I do). The speeding is ridiculous and nothing will slow it down except something like this. Arrest those who drive on the sidewalk or honk. That’s easy to do. They’ll stop doing it after a ticket or two. The inconvenience of slowing down for 5 seconds is not worth hitting someone walking in the valley because you need to get to Picton 20s faster.

  12. David Thomas says:

    And while we talk about humps and bumps, tourists are planning next year’s county vacation, blissfully unaware that this has gone on and ready, once again, to ignore the speed limit.

  13. Mike Rodgers says:

    Nieman suggested council consider grinding the bumps to humps and continue the pilot as planned – though without the humps nearest the stop sign, which he noted, were not supposed to be placed there in the first place.

    Where were the county employees supervising the installation. We have enough employees that at least one could be there during installation be make sure it is done right the first time.

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