Collingwood’s OPP detachment commander would like to see things a little more backwards on Hurontario Street.
More specifically, Inspector Mary Shannon wants to see the town give reverse angle parking a go.
“A little paint might make a big difference,” said Shannon during the Collingwood and The Blue Mountains joint Police Services Board meeting yesterday at The Blue Mountains Town Hall.
Insp. Shannon was presenting a report on collisions from January 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2019, in Collingwood and The Blue Mountains.
Over that timeframe, there were 1,596 collision reports created by The Blue Mountains/Collingwood OPP, and more than 1,000 of those were in Collingwood. The highest number of collisions occurred between December and February, with a small spike (229) in July.
In Collingwood, a heatmap of the collisions plotted on a street view of the town showed a majority of car crashes take place on Hurontario Street, followed by First Street.
“Of note is the environmental design of the angled parking on Hurontario Street,” states Shannon’s report. “This parking style has drivers pull into a spot, and when they leave, are forced to back out of their spot. This may cause collisions with motorists, pedestrians, or cyclists.”
Shannon advocated for reverse angle parking. She said a reverse system gives a driver clear lines of sight while reversing into a spot and provides trunk access at the sidewalk instead of on the street. She also indicated it is safer to load and unload children from the sidewalk side instead of the street side.
When a driver is exiting a reverse angle parking spot, they can better see oncoming traffic, said Shannon.
Mayor Brian Saunderson said the information in the three-year report is “extremely relevant” and suggested the problem areas will only get worse as the town grows.
He called reverse angle parking a paradigm shift.
Town council has not yet discussed the idea brought up by Insp. Shannon.
The report also listed the primary causes of collisions in Collingwood and The Blue Mountains. Nearly one-third of collisions were attributed to inattentive drivers, and 203 were caused by a driver failing to yield the right of way. Speed was a factor in 157 collisions, but 141 of those were attributed to driving too fast for conditions, 14 for excessive speed, and two for going “too slow.”
Animals - wild or domestic - were the cause of 128 collisions, and alcohol impairment was the cause of 43 collisions over the three-year period.