Thompson Moves To Reduce Speed Limit On Eighth Line

(Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Driving concerns which were once focused on the Hwy. 401 have now shifted to rural roads for some Chatham-Kent residents.

South Kent councillor Trevor Thompson says some people living near Eighth Line, south of Chatham have approached him with safety concerns as more drivers choose to use that road for their commute — especially if there’s a crash on the Hwy. 401.

“A lot of people use the Talbot Trail or Middle Line but a fair number actually use [a section of 8th Line] because it’s the easiest way to hop back on the highway at Bloomfield Rd.,” says Thompson.

With higher traffic volumes and vehicles speeding along the narrow roadway, Thompson says residents are concerned that crashes will start piling up closer to home. In addition, Eighth Line is also commonly used by cyclists, which poses as another area of concern.

“It’s not really built for that traffic volume or speed,” says Thompson. “It’s just becoming a busier intersection than I think it was ever built for so I think we need to address some safety concerns there.”

In an effort to avoid any major incidents, Thompson is taking a motion to council Monday night to reduce the speed limit to 60 km/hr on Eighth Line at Bloomfield Rd., for 800 m in both directions of the intersection.

“If approved, I would like to see this done as soon as possible. It’s only a couple of signs,” he says. “Just so it gives drivers the opportunity to coast to a stop, instead of hammering on the brakes.”

Thompson says the decision to reduce the speed limit could come down to a coin toss, in terms of getting support from other councillors.

“I’ve seen motions like this pass, I’ve seen motions like this fail,” he says. “To be blunt, it always just seems to be what kind of mood the rest of council is in that day.”

Although the municipality is currently looking at areas of Chatham-Kent to assess traffic, Thompson says it’s a multi-year project.

This will be the only council meeting in August. The next council meeting is scheduled for September 10.