Main Street in Port Dover is known as the “Main drag” for a reason, and residents are losing patience with that.
Norfolk’s Police Services Board received a petition on Sept. 23 with more than 160 signatures asking for enforcement and traffic-calming measures on the busy thoroughfare.
“I would hope that 160 of our residents would be adequate to present their serious concerns of excess traffic, speed and noise of many vehicles and motorcycles on Highway 6 – Main Street,” Ken Demone, a resident of Main Street and organizer of the petition, said in a presentation to the police services board. “The most serious concern is the safety of our children and seniors attempting to cross Main Street.”
Insp. Joe Varga, chief of the Norfolk OPP, agreed with Demone that a noticeable increase in traffic volume in Port Dover has made it a priority for enforcement.
Norfolk OPP conducted a Speed Spy survey on Main Street from Sept. 2 to Sept. 6. Over this span, the hidden radar unit counted 7,003 vehicles heading northbound and 6,439 vehicles heading southbound.
A total of 1.7 per cent of northbound vehicles were travelling 20 kilometres or more in excess of the posted 50 kilometre-per-hour limit. The corresponding figure for southbound vehicles was 0.84 percent.
“Volume – quite apparently – is an issue,” Varga said. “Port Dover is growing. We see the same problems on Prospect Street, St. Andrew Street and St. George Street.”
In his presentation, Demone also took note of the rapid rate of development in Port Dover.
He’s especially concerned about applications for condominium developments in the area of the former Gamble Shipyard and Misner Fertilizer property. Demone is skeptical of third-party traffic studies which say the hundreds of new residents and vehicles these developments will attract in the area of Chapman Street East won’t have a noticeable impact on traffic.
“It may be dangerous gridlock on Main Street and possibly alternate streets as well when these new facilities are finished construction,” Demone said.
Potential remedies, Demone suggested, include the installation of proper crosswalks at Alma Street and McNab Street and strict enforcement of the speed limit and noise bylaw. Dennis Travale, chair of the Norfolk PSB, said Demone’s next stop should be Norfolk council.
“Traffic-calming measures – all those things you mention – are within the purview of Norfolk County council,” Travale said. “Unfortunately, police cannot be everywhere at all times.”