Cobblestone Drive Traffic Issues Escalating

Cobblestone Dr. residents in Paris don’t want a tragedy to occur before traffic calming measures are implemented on the busy thoroughfare.

“Do we want a child to be hit and killed before something happens? It’s hard just to walk the street now.”

Anne Dutra, Cobblestone Drive Resident

Dutra and Moira Hunter-Kenyon are among many Cobblestone Dr. residents who want to see ever-increasing traffic and speed on Cobblestone Dr. dealt with immediately.

With two elementary schools, heavy construction vehicle use, and increased volume from new residential subdivisions, they believe it is a recipe for disaster. Long lines of traffic are often seen coming and going before and after school with many motorists coming to a rolling stop at stop signs, or not stopping at all.

Traffic on Cobblestone Drive, Paris during school drop off time in the morning.

“The problems with traffic have been steadily increasing over the past several years, and probably the last year or two it has got worse for sure,” Hunter-Kenyon said. “What brought it all to a head when school started in September was a combination of King Edward St. (Hwy. 2) being under construction and the builder of Grandville Inc. not opening up and paving Arlington Parkway so that the people from the new houses could get out of their development from there. They landlocked us so Cobblestone Dr., in my opinion, has become the only viable access to and from Rest Acres Rd. There’s a tunneling effect.”

Arlington Parkway, when finished, will extend to Rest Acres Rd.

According to a letter written to Hunter-Kenyon by County of Brant General Manager of Operations, Robert Walton, that roadway is currently the developer’s private property. It won’t be completed until 2020, however, constructing the final portion of Arlington Parkway is included as part of the next phase of development.

In the meantime, Cobblestone Dr. residents aren’t sitting idly by. Measures such as a petition, a delegation to council at its Nov. 26 meeting, neighbourhood pace cars, and a letter-writing campaign to Mayor David Bailey are all underway.

A speed spy box that collected data in August and October showed speeds of up to 80 km in the residential area during 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in October. It also indicates that traffic tripled from August to October.

Hunter-Kenyon said a reduction of speed on Cobblestone Dr. to 40 km and calming measures like speed humps, permanent speed radar signs to register motorists’ speeds, stop signs at problem intersections, and an increased OPP presence are among measures residents would like to see implemented. Those measures are also among recommendations for passive safety measures in targeted areas outlined in the Brant Safe Streets strategy, meant to create safer road systems for county residents. It has a six-year rollout.

“We need Arlington Parkway opened up ASAP; even just a temporary gravel road,” Hunter-Kenyon said.

Councillor John Bell presented a motion at the Oct. 22 council meeting for consideration of calming measures in the area. The recommendation requested Cobblestone subdivision be recognized as a pilot area for the implementation of Brant Safe Streets strategy measures. The motion was tabled six to four for further review.

The heavy traffic results in decreased quality of life for people who live along Cobblestone Drive, many of whom have lived there for 15 years. Hunter-Kenyon has a bird’s eye view of the street activity from her home office. She and her husband have lived there for 10 years and the traffic, speed and ensuing noise have become unbearable.

“I just really hope it doesn’t end up being that somebody is hurt.”

Moira Hunter Kenyon, Cobblestone Drive Resident

Traffic calming measures are also suggested in a recently implemented 16-month, $120,000 Ontario Active School Travel program that promotes students walking and biking to and from school.

There are about 48 homes and 61 condominium units on Cobblestone Dr.

“Our worry is that starting in the spring of 2020 they’re going to be constructing Rest Acres Rd,” Hunter-Kenyon, said. “That’s going to take five years to get that done, so where are cars going to go from there?”