I have heard from many Donwood residents and area businesses about the closure of the Warsaw Swing Bridge. For the most part, people are understanding that the work is necessary and comes with living in an area that is surrounded by water. The bridge needs to be repaired and in order for that work to take place, the bridge must be closed. Makes sense. Unfortunately, the bridge will be closed for 8 months which seems like a very long time and terribly inconvenient. But, we’re understanding people and can make due. If only the detours made sense.
What doesn’t make sense to many residents and businesses is the detour that has been foisted on our residents by the City of Peterborough.
A secondary, but related concern is the fact that people who think they can get around the detour are speeding North on TV road and through Kingsdale/Clinton subdivision, only to realize that it won’t get them anywhere and having to backtrack.
I want to address a few things on the matter that will be of benefit to residents.
First, the issue of ‘lost’ commuters travelling through Kingsdale came to my attention on October 7, 2020. At this point, I connected with Parks Canada to make them aware and request that additional signage be installed at the North entrance of TV road to advise people that there’s No Exit. These signs have now been installed. People will still try to turn down but hopefully they won’t get so far wound around the subdivision that they’re creating unnecessary traffic and safety issues navigating around.
During my call with the Parks Canada representative, I expressed my dismay with the fact that Douro Dummer Council was not consulted or advised of the detour route and traffic plan. The only communication we received was a notice on July 7, 2020 which coupled the Warsaw closure with a couple other bridge closures. We also received a media release on September 18, 2020. On that call, the representative advised that her traffic plan was sent to the City and changed without any warning. I asked for the traffic plan and was told advised that it may not be able to be sent to me. I’ve still not received anything to date.
On Tuesday, October 20 beginning at 5:00 p.m. Council will be meeting. Item 9.5 of the agenda (p. 37 or see the image below) there is a brief report from staff which identifies that we were not consulted in any way and asking for staff to work with whomever to find an adequate solution. I support this emphatically.
The three roads off TV Road – McFarlane, Old Norwood Road and Manice – were closed on the advice of City staff because the volume of traffic should not be flowing through these residential streets. We need to re-open these roads immediately. They’ve long been used prior to the bridge closure as routes into East City. If residents and City Officials are concerned about speed and safety then let’s address that together with increased enforcement and temporary signs and signalling to make the intersections safer.
I’ve reached out to the Mayor and Ashburnham Ward Councillors in hopes that we can get this sorted out sooner than later. It is also my understanding that Warden Jones will be meeting with Mayor Therrien to discuss the matter further.
If you want to watch the Council meeting on Tuesday it is streamed live on YouTube and the recording is available following the meeting.
If you have any suggestions or concerns, please let me know. In the mean time, I ask for your patience and that you do what you can to support the businesses on that stretch of road. It’s been a rough year for small businesses and this closure isn’t helping. They’re going to need our support.