Opinion Letters

Downtown Barrie roundabout a costly mistake: LETTERS

The City of Barrie is looking into building a roundabout at the downtown intersection of Ross, Collier and Bayfield streets. MARK WANZEL/PHOTO

The City of Barrie is looking into building a roundabout at the downtown intersection of Ross, Collier and Bayfield streets. MARK WANZEL/PHOTO

(Re: ‘‘Round in circles’ in the Aug. 24 edition of the Examiner)


Barrie City Hall proposes a roundabout at the intersection of Ross, Bayfield and Collier streets at a cost of $2.2 million, plus land acquisition.

To do so would be a costly mistake.

A study from the University of Waterloo states roundabouts result in many more motor accidents but less serious types of accidents.

I am not aware that our particular intersection has serious or deadly accidents now, so this roundabout would not benefit in that way while more frequent accidents at this intersection would be guaranteed.

Traffic on Dunlop Street is often heavy, further aggravated by the closing of the road south of Memorial Square. However, there is no evidence motorists would move to Ross Street to reduce Dunlop Street traffic.

There is substantially heavier traffic southbound on Bayfield Street than on Ross/Collier streets. The proposed one-lane roundabout would force the two lanes southbound on Bayfield Street traffic to squeeze into one lane, thereby substantially slowing down the heavier southbound traffic and leading to more potential accidents.

There are many other intersections in Barrie which present more challenging problems than Ross/Bayfield/Collier.

If the city is determined to do something here, a traffic-light system would be less expensive and create fewer problems.

The odd layout of streets can be handled by traffic lights – for example, Yonge and Grosvenor streets in Toronto - where there is heavier vehicular traffic and vastly heavier pedestrian traffic than would ever be reached at Ross/Bayfield/Collier.

In future years, there would be more maintenance costs involved with traffic lights, but these would be offset by more police investigation costs for the inevitable frequent fender benders.

With a roundabout, the city might have fewer costs than with traffic lights, but our police force would encounter more substantial costs. Since the same taxpayer pays for both, the roundabout would not lead to lesser overall expenses.

The present estimated cost is $2.2 million, plus land acquisition costs. No doubt when and if the time comes for the roundabout to happen these costs would be even higher.

Installation of a roundabout at Ross/Bayfield/Collier would be hugely more costly than traffic lights. Because of police investigation costs and attendant clerical work, future costs would be greater with a roundabout.

The studies guarantee considerably more accidents with a roundabout. Roundabouts add to the stress for most drivers.

Please don’t go there.

Bruce Owen



Recreational marijuana not a burning issue

There are real problems facing us such as North Korea, Iran, terrorism, trade issues and alliances and our defence or lack thereof - no missile defence, outdated military equipment and the continual fighter jet fiasco.

Also the lack of development of our natural resources, our debt, our increasing tax burden, and on and on.

Why is our government worrying about recreational marijuana; we already have a system for medical marijuana in place.

Really, is this such an important issue? Maybe if you are under 40 and vote for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

But many Canadians do not care about it one way or another. To think that this will make a lot of tax revenue for the government is short-sighted.

In Colorado, it makes less money than alcohol and any money made will be spent on extra policing, dealing with more impaired driving, lethargic youth, health issues and because of pricing, will not change the black market.

The priority of this issue, along with political correctness and the emphasis on special interest groups, makes one wonder what has happened to common sense.

With so many important decisions to be made, the fact that this is considered at the top of the agenda shows the lack of gravitas of the current government.

Joan Lowery


Raccoon torturer a menace to society

(Re: ‘PETA offering raccoon reward’ in the Sept. 5 edition of the Examiner)

One can only imagine the sheer terror and agony of the raccoon who was doused with lighter fluid, set on fire and left to die.

Anyone who would commit such a heinous act is a menace to society.

I truly hope PETA’s $5,000 reward results in someone being charged and convicted.

Please: Be a ‘nosy neighbour’. If you suspect someone is harming or hurting animals, contact authorities immediately. You may be an animal’s only hope.

Jennifer O’Connor

Fort Erie, Ont.


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