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Councillor calls for action at intersection

By Sam Normand

BELLEVILLE, Ont. (29/11/2011) Driver Danny Howsen was extracted from his car after the Hastings-Quinte Emergency Medical Services paramedics and the Belleville firefighters from Station 1 detached the driver's side door of his car with the Jaws of Life. Howsen was involved in a four-car accident at the intersection of Wallbridge-Loyalist Road and Moira Street on Tuesday morning around 10 a.m. He was taken to Belleville General Hospital and the accident is still under investigation. Photo by Julia McKay

People are starting to take notice of what has been identified as a dangerous intersection after a recent accident at Wallbridge-Loyalist Road and Moira Road in Belleville.

A four-car pile-up Tuesday at the intersection saw one driver rescued by firefighters using the jaws-of-life. The accident occurred at approximately 10 a.m.

Quinte West Sidney Ward councillor Paul Kyte has been trying to get a set of traffic lights installed at the intersection but Quinte West and the City of Belleville can’t agree on who should pay for what share of the project.

“We had the accident earlier this week, we had the accident last week, and with the oncoming winter there will be more,” said Kyte. “The problem isn’t so much the road design as it is the line of sight.

“Vehicles that are on the west Moira street exit on Wallbridge-Loyalist road can’t see the second vehicle coming straight through south on Wallbridge Loyalist road and what’s happening is they’re pulling out because they can’t see those cars. Of course a traffic light there would bring all those cars to a stop so people could navigate it safely.”

“I think it would be beneficial to have a set of lights there,” said Loyalist College second year tv new media student Brittany Beebe. “It’s not too bad turning turning right, but when you want to turn left it’s hard to know what’s coming over the hill. It would make everything more organized.”

Kyte has been especially vocal after the crash on Tuesday.

“When you come around the bend it’s a sharp turn. When you’re waiting at the stop sign turning right onto Wallbridge-Loyalist road you’re generally blocked by people turning left,” said Michelle Cochrane, a second year photojournalism student. “Sometimes you can’t see oncoming traffic when you’re about to turn right. I know I’ve been in a couple tight situations. I think it could definitely help to have a set of lights, but it’s kind of an awkward intersection for it.”

“The intersection itself isn’t dangerous,” says Steve Bolton, co-ordinator of radio broadcasting. “People don’t pay attention to oncoming traffic, that’s the issue. Quite often I’ll see cars pull out in front of cars coming off down the bridge. They’ll pull out in front of oncoming cars and cause a collision.”

Bolton said a set of traffic lights would certainly help the situation.

“Of course people are going to run red lights too, you have collisions at intersections with lights as well,” said Bolton. “I know the city of Quinte West has the money, they’re just waiting for Belleville to pony up the other half.”

According to Kyte, the only thing holding back the $180, 000 set of lights is Belleville.

Quinte West set aside $300, 000 for the project, which included $20, 000 for a consultant’s report, with both cities splitting the cost.

At budget meetings earlier this week, however, Belleville city council said that it’s not being considered.

“We’ve got the money. We’re still waiting for Belleville to step up to the plate,” said Kyte. “Our staff says the intersection is a major problem. The consultant says there’s a major problem. So what’s the holdup?”