BY VOICE STAFF
Residents from the Hurricane Road neighborhood filled Pelham Town Council chambers on July 24 to support for their neighbour Sheila Volchert, there to present a petition calling on Council to slow traffic on Hurricane Road. Volchert told Council that since 2003 there have been at least four accidents, with the latest having occurred on June 4. She said it’s only a matter time before someone is seriously injured.
“I have been living on the corner of Hurricane Road for 41 years and I have observed many vehicles come to a rolling stop and then continue,” Volchert said.
“We are hoping that the Council or whoever is responsible for resolving these issues take the necessary steps to regulate and slow traffic down on Hurricane Road. It should be noted that many residents mentioned to me that it would be unconscionable to wait for catastrophe to happen. We as taxpayers for the Town of Pelham should be able to allow our children and grandchildren to play on our front lawns without endangering their lives.”
Unsure of the exact solution, Volchert proposed ideas such as speed bumps or a four-way stop at the corner of Station Street and Hurricane Road. Councillor John Durley empathized with Volchert, stating that he recognized the severity of the issue on Hurricane Road. Unfortunately, he said, speeding through town is something that Council hears about on a regular basis. Durley explained that since he has been on Council the Town has taken several steps to help make the streets safer for everyone.
“The streets that we have now were designed for cars,” Durley said.
“All the engineers back then, as we know, were just worried about the cars. We now know different. We have engaged in an agenda to make safe streets which give pedestrians and cyclists more of a chance to use them. We have also won awards for being a walkable and bike-able community. The streets that will be designed here from this point forward will all have these features. We have listened.”
Along with her presentation, Volchert delivered a petition bearing the names of 50 residents in the Hurricane Road neighborhood. As the development in East Fonthill expands, she expects the problem to continue getting worse.
“A lot of people are saying that they compare it to Merrittville Speedway,” she said.
“It’s unbelievable. One officer told me they don’t have enough manpower to sit there. When I spoke to him he said he had been sitting there starting at 2 PM and by 2:15 PM he had caught three speeders. But then he said he was called away to a fire in Welland. And that’s what happens, they come in and then they are called away on an emergency.”
Council directed staff to come up with a report identifying possible solutions to the residents’ concerns and demands for traffic calming measures.
After the meeting, Volchert said she was pleased by Council’s response.
“It was really great to see so many people show up tonight. It really sent Council a clear message and they seem to understand the issue.”