MINDEMOYA—A Mindemoya resident is imploring local residents and visitors to the community to slow down their driving speeds in town before someone is seriously injured.
“I live on Yonge Street which is beside the public school (Central Manitoulin Public School),” said Marc Lariviere, on Tuesday. “Last year, especially during the summer, it was a battle watching vehicles going by so fast on Yonge Street going out of, or into, town. I was building a garage so I saw a lot and actually made my own sign telling people to slow down their vehicles.”
“With the snow gone and spring being here, people and their kids want to get out of the house and do things so there are a lot more people around walking or riding their bikes,” said Mr. Lariviere. He explained, “last year I called the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) about my concerns with speeding and they said they would have the radar speed indicator sign set up at the corner but I haven’t seen it here yet.”
Mr. Lariviere pointed out, “the municipality has put up 40 kilometre per hour speed signs throughout the side streets in Mindemoya and other areas which is great. There was a 40 kilometre per hour speed limit sign by the school and it is still there, but people are still going way too fast.”
“I don’t know what to do,” said Mr. Lariviere. “I live by the corner near the school and I think this problem with speeders started once new pavement was put down on the road to make it nice and smooth and easier to travel on. This is when the problems really started.”
“I have two young kids who like to use the sidewalks and ride their bikes and scooters, I don’t need to be babysitting them; my daughter is going to be seven this summer and my son is nine and I remind them to be safe, but it is nerve wracking when they are out riding their bikes because of drivers speeding by,” continued Mr. Lariviere. “The summer is when Yonge Street is the busiest with people walking, kids out riding their bikes and pets around.”
Mr. Lariviere said the situation is so bad he has actually followed some people who are speeding by to ask them “what the rush is. I even had one lady who missed the stop sign on Thorne Street who I approached and she said she had never seen the sign, but said she has lived here for eight years.”’
“Its busy enough already, but with the summer tourist traffic coming soon it will be absolutely insane,” said Mr. Lariviere. “It’s not just locals or tourists, its everyone. It’s amazing how much people in vehicles pick up the speed going out or coming into town.”
“I did send in a formal written complaint to the OPP last year about the situation and the need for the speed radar sign to be set up here,” said Mr. Lariviere. “They had an officer sit two or three times there, but it was at the wrong time of the day. What we need is speed indicator sign to be set up for a week or two, to see how many people are speeding and whether it needs to be patrolled. It will monitor the number of cars going by and the average speed vehicles are travelling.”
“Its busy enough already, but with the summer tourist traffic coming soon it will be absolutely insane,” said Mr. Lariviere.
“I can tell you we have received complaints about speeding on Yonge Street in Mindemoya,” said Staff Sergeant Kevin Webb, Manitoulin OPP detachment commander, on Tuesday. “On several occasions the last couple of years we have cruisers stationed on the street to monitor at school times; and focus patrols to address the problem. Officers have relayed back that there are some offences and traffic enforcement but it was sporadic at best.”
Staff Sgt. Webb explained, “this is a large Island and we police seven communities, not including the provincial highways. We try to spread out as much as we can in areas to address concerns and we try to strategize where we need to have officers and equipment where there have been concerns raised.”
The OPP speed radar signs are not utilized in the winter, but with spring here they will soon be back in play, said Staff Sgt. Webb. “Any communities that want the speed radar sign in their community due to concerns we will look at it.” He explained the signs, “gather data, determine speed issues, the number of vehicles and how many are speeding, and the speed average and severity. Any citizens with any concerns about speeding taking place on a particular street we encourage to bring these concerns forward to their CPAC (Community Police Advisory Committee) members so the issue can be brought up at a meeting.”
Staff Sgt. Webb told the Recorder, “last year we assigned officers to set up and monitor on Yonge Street for one week, during school times and what was found is that there were minimal vehicles speeding, or traffic violations.”
“I will be trying to get Tracy Chapman, the principal of the school (CMPS), on board to get something done at least until school is out for the summer,” said Mr. Lariviere. He noted as well there is an neon stop sign and 40k limit signs, as well as a community safety zone, located in the Yonge Street area. “It makes my stomach curl to think of all the people out and about and drivers speeding through.”