Highway 26 commuters rejoice!
The speed limit between Collingwood and the Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) is set to return to 80 km/h on Oct. 13.
Earlier this summer, TBM Mayor Alar Soever called on Ontario Premier Doug Ford to assist in getting the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to reduce the speed limit on Highway 26 for a distance of 300-metres west of the Craigleith Provincial Park entrance, to the east side of the village of Craigleith.
Soever says the request was made in an effort to increase pedestrian safety around problematic areas, such as Northwinds Beach.
The Premier acted almost immediately, reducing the speed for a larger stretch than requested - from Delphi Lane to Grey Road 21.
“We have received a lot of comments about the speed change, both positive and critical, and all of those provide valuable input," said Soever. "But, what I think most people agree on is that there are a couple of troubled spots that need to be addressed, such as the Circle K entrance and the area around Northwinds Beach.”
Since the speed change, TBM has initiated a traffic study on the stretch of highway and this week began monitoring traffic for both the amount of vehicles and speed.
“I hope we have a plan in place for next summer,” Soever said.
In September, Soever also penned a letter to the MTO asking for the province to consider chipping in $10,000 to cover half the cost of the traffic study.
Soever says the province has not yet responded to the funding request but has assisted TBM in acquiring the traffic monitoring devices.
Looking ahead to the summer of 2021, Soever says he anticipates another speed reduction but that the length of the stretch of road that would have a reduced speed limit will likely be shortened.
The speed limit will be returning to 80 km/h on Oct. 13 and is expected to remain at that rate until the traffic study has been complete.