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Traffic concerns send plans for Tim’s back for review

September 5, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Kira Wronska Dorward

At the first Council meeting since the August break, there were numerous critical issues that came to the forefront of discussion.

One of the most involved debates surrounded the Site Plan Agreement for a new Tim Horton’s in Beeton, at the intersection of Main and Patterson.

Councillor MacLellan, a long-time area resident, began by stating “what really concerns me is the intersection…we are a small town, and there’s a lot happening there.

“It’s already an issue,” she said, referring to the amount of pedestrian, vehicle, and truck traffic near a school zone and condo building, “and there’s not even a drive-thru there yet.”

MacLellan suggested the implementation of a right-hand turning sign on Main, as well as a sign on the left side of the intersection.

Many residents of the condo building across the street, which houses 30 units, were present in Council Chambers to express their concerns about the proposed drive-thru.

Carolyn Milan, representing the rest of the building, told Committee how she has watched the traffic for hours at that intersection the previous Saturday, and found it to be “very concerning for the sake of foot traffic. I did cross guard duty at that intersection a few years ago, and it was scary then.”

She also reminded Council and the audience that there are two new developments coming into Beeton, and that the site of the drive-thru, already at a very busy intersection, is close in proximity to a school.

“There’s already no safe way to access the plaza [across from our building],” she concluded.

Another issue raised in the context of the proposed drive-thru was the idling transport trucks that already litter the side of the road. “What is going to be done to curtail idling when a truck driver runs in for a coffee?” an audience member queried. According to other audience members, this is an already occurring event, with transport truck drivers leaving their trucks idling on the shoulders of the street while they go in for refreshment.

Light, noise, and air pollution were also prominent issues raised by the condo residents, as the proposed drive-thru would have trucks exiting with their headlights aimed straight at the building. “That’s affecting fifteen families,” commented one speaker. “Not just one house.”

In addition, a feared increase in garbage and then the necessity of cleaning the refuse was brought to the fore.

Christine Malachik, a working police officer who lives in the condo building opposite the proposed drive-thru, got up to speak about living “in the hub.”

“I love Beeton,” she said. “I chose to stay in my condo [knowing about the traffic] because I love it here.” However, she went on to elaborate that the intersection at Main and Patterson as it stands is poorly constructed, and that she herself has already seen many transport trucks maneuvering in it dangerously, within the high volume of traffic. “It’s too close,” she concluded. “I certainly don’t suggest having the drive-thru there.”

Malachik also commented on the noise pollution that already exists in that area.

“I chose to live at that corner. I knew it was going to be a busy corner, but, boy, I didn’t expect the traffic.”

Councillor MacLellan then made a point that the building “is adjacent to what is going to be our Heritage District. This design gives no nod [to that].”

She also suggested a pedestrian walkway into the Shopper’s Drug Mart plaza, as many children from the school walk there during their lunches.

Deputy Mayor Norcross put forward a motion that the turning lanes issue at the intersection should be addressed, and that a traffic-impact study, peer-reviewed, should be undertaken and brought back to Council.

Staff pointed out a study and plan had been put together nine years before in 2010, which predicted the need for more traffic infrastructure at the site between 2023-28. “A lot has happened in the past nine years,” commented MacLellan. “Residents can attest these things are happening on a daily basis now.”

Norcross again suggested that the proposed drive-thru should go back to committee, so “we can get these concerns addressed as best we can in two weeks from now.”

A representative from Tim Hortons took the podium then, stating, “We have worked really diligently on the design to rejig the space…there has been a lot of planning that has gone into it…we are making sure that we are meeting all the requirements of the bylaw, which we have.”

Council Lacey inquired about inputting the improvements to the intersection now as opposed to waiting until 2023, “but that being said, the Council doesn’t accept [the proposal]. That’s why we’re asking you to go back.”

Councillor MacLellan added, “I see a lot of traffic issues ahead of us, and children going out for lunch to that plaza…residents are already living and paying taxes there, and don’t want to be impacted [by this drive-thru] in any way.”

A motion was passed to send the proposal back to staff and committee for review.



         


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