Champlain Township council had a lengthy discussion about how to deal with actual and potential traffic congestion problems at the main intersection in Vankleek Hill.
Council approved the recommendations in a public works department report presented during its June 22 session on how to deal with traffic congestion problems at the intersection of Highway 34 and County Road 10. The intersection is in the heart of Vankleek Hill’s main business area and in the past there have been problems with big freight trucks making turns at the intersection and also with some motorists creating problems with their use of the intersection.
“As far as I’m concerned,” said Councillor Gérard Miner, “there are too many (big) trucks trying to shave time off their travel by driving through there. Eventually, I think we’re going to see that intersection end up as a ‘No Truck Turning’ intersection.”
“That is a very old intersection (design) that just does not facilitate 53-foot-long (truck) trailers today,” said Councillor Peter Barton.
Earlier this year the township asked the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) to do a traffic visibility review of the intersection since County Road 10 is a UCPR road. UCPR council later reviewed several options for dealing with the situation and approved Option 4 in the report that includes four recommendations.
The recommendations include: relocating the eastbound traffic stop bar; posting “No Right Turns on Red Light” signs for eastbound traffic on the county road and southbound traffic on the highway route; review and adjust the traffic light timing setup to allow more time for transport trucks with trailers to do safe turns; and remove some of the parking spaces on the immediate west and south ends of the intersection to allow more room for semi-trailers to turn.
Councillor Barton expressed doubt about designating more “no parking” areas near the intersection as a satisfactory solution. He noted that loss of parking spaces could affect some businesses in the village centre, making it more inconvenient for their customers.
He also noted that most drivers now depend on GPS systems to help guide them along their routes. If the GPS system is not updated to including information about no right turns allowed on stop lights then some drivers could still end up creating traffic problems at the intersection.