Most days, I enjoy taking a walk around Napanee. However, like earlier writers to the Beaver, I’ve become concerned about a lack of traffic preparation in regards to the downtown dig. The car activity on Camden Road has increased fivefold from previous years. The worse offense by the additional cars is that they come under the railroad bridge onto Camden and then gun their engines. The speed limit is 50 kilometres per hour for a very good reason: Camden Road is a residential area. The entire 1.6 kilometer road contains only four non-residential buildings.
In just the past week I noticed four squirrels killed by cars within the first block after the railroad bridge. To put this in perspective… I noted one dead squirrel on Sarah Street since April and zero dead animals on Edgewood Drive since the spring. My real fear is that these speeding cars are sooner or later going to kill either a child or one of the senior citizens who often traverse this area.
Neither should transports be using Camden Road. I witnessed one transport speeding from north to south and suddenly he realized there was a railroad bridge there. He swerved his vehicle over into the other lane, taking up the entire road as he went through the tunnel. If a car had been entering from the south at that moment there would have been serious damage to the railroad bridge and a dead driver in the car. Another morning during rush hour a huge transport came down Camden unaware of the railroad bridge, which his vehicle was too big to navigate. He then performed a dangerous maneuver in which he backed up all the way to Elizabeth Street to turn around and retrace his route.
There are two solutions. First, post a sign at Industrial or Richmond Boulevard that the railroad bridge is ahead and its clearance ratio. Second, the OPP need to set regular speed traps on Camden Road for the rest of the summer. They could easily post a car on Elizabeth Street and catch the offenders just after they’ve gunned their engines.
It would be tragic if Napanee’s efforts to beautify the town led to the death of one of its citizens. The ounce of prevention is surely worth it.