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Council cautions about road closure request for future bike race

TBM council sent the request to the agriculture advisory committee, after a recent bike race resulted in complaints from some farmers
Peter Seligman speaks to The Blue Mountains council at its meeting on June 26, 2023.

The Blue Mountains council has said “not so fast” to a request to close a local road in August for a biking event.

At its committee of the whole meeting on June 26, council voted to send the closure request to its agricultural advisory committee for consideration before making a decision.

At the meeting, Peter Seligman appeared as a delegation and asked that council approve closing Sideroad 21 between County Road 2 and the Lorree Forest on August 26 for the Ride to Conquer Cancer event.

Seligman told council that the past two years the event has been held in Grey Highlands on Grey County Road 7 between Epping and Kimberley. However, that road is under construction this summer and is unavailable.

“We’re asking for permission to do this as a one-off,” said Seligman.

He said the road closure would be a “soft closing” with the road closed to through traffic, but open for local traffic and residents. The event will run from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. that day.

Seligman said most riders in the event would ride their bikes to the event and vehicles would not be parking alongside the route of the event. Riders who need parking will be directed to the town’s public works yard in nearby Ravenna. Seligman also stressed that the event is not a competition and all those participating would be advised to yield for any farm-related traffic on the road that morning.

“This is not a race. It’s not a commercial venture,” he said.

The goal of the event is to raise $100,000 and the event is expected to attract 150 riders.

Coming on the heels of a recent bike race held in the rural area of the community that resulted in concerns from local residents, members of council wanted more input before making a decision.

“We’ve had some struggles recently with partial (road) closures,” said Mayor Andrea Matrosovs. “It didn’t work out how we thought.”

Coun. Gail Aridel asked for the item to be sent to the agricultural advisory committee meeting on Thursday, June 29 for consideration.

“A lot of people live on that road,” said Ardiel.

Council agreed and voted 6-0 in favour of a resolution to send the matter to the committee. Deputy Mayor Peter Bordignon was briefly absent for that portion of the meeting.

The committee will consider the item on June 29 and send its recommendation to council for a decision at its next meeting on July 10.

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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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