What's on your mind?

The Hub would love to hear from you. Email your letters, articles, photos, drawings, cartoons, YouTube or Vimeo links to [email protected].



Everyone is excited about the 10th Street bridge being back in use and I can't say I'm not included in that crowd.  It was nice to be able to get across to the west side in less than five minutes at 5pm on a Friday.

The detours the city put in use during the 14 month downtime were a mixed bag. By and large, I viewed it as a positive - it flowed much better during non-rush hours than I'd ever anticipated. However, the early morning rush and afternoon drives were where traffic halted and those issues were brought to light. Does 10th Street Bridge being reopened alleviate these issues? Yes and no. As I drove up 10th Street West hill, the traffic heading east was backed up onto the hill and that was at 5pm. Sure, everyone was excited to cross it for the first time and the lights will need to be re-synced, but traffic did back up onto the hill before the bridge went down. The high schools being amalgamated meant a flurry of school buses would be cruising 10th Street during the rushes that start at 8am and 3pm. Buses, tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles obviously take up more space than the average vehicle. At its absolute worst, I was in the lineup that was backed up to the crossing guards on the top of 10th Street West.

Is my solution to keep the detours? Absolutely not. 9th Street was ALWAYS a nightmare that I avoided at all costs. The double turn lanes on 8th Street were a welcomed addition, but so many drivers just couldn't grasp the idea of staying in one lane. Of course, the issues were exacerbated further up on 8th. At the intersection of 8/2 East, you could turn left or go straight in one lane and those who chose to go straight were often greeted with a car blocking their way as they attempted to turn left on 2nd Avenue East themselves. Further up, the extra lane became a left turn only but many did not realize this and were forced to cut in at the last second. Many cars were cut off and much road rage ensued, but given the high speed, racing nature of these streets during this time - you could easily be rear ended if you were "nice" and attempted to allow someone who realized their effort and indicated that they needed to get over at the last second. So instead, they dangerously cut you off thinking you were being inconsiderate.

What are my solutions? Well, I'm not a traffic director - I'm just someone who spends 10-12 hours of his day transporting residents to their desired destinations. What is convenient for me won't be convenient for others and I recognize that, but here's a couple of my ideas regardless.

- Timed lights need to go. The traffic lights on 10th especially need to be dictated by traffic flow. Many times I've sat at 10/2 W looking eastbound, trying to turn left onto 2nd Avenue West. The lights for westbound traffic were green, advance left had gone and there was zero traffic on the opposite side. Our light remained red, then when it finally switched to green - the westbound traffic had made its way over the bridge and still had the green to continue up 10th West. I and other drivers had a good 30-40 seconds to make a safe left turn, but couldn't because our light had to cycle through its timed duration.

- The alternative to that would be to structure the lights on 10th Street in a similar fashion to how 10th Street/2nd Avenue East were before the bridge was rebuilt. Westbound had a green while Eastbound was red and vice versa. Cross-traffic functioned as normal. I'm not a big fan of that idea myself, but I'm just brainstorming.

Nothing groundbreaking, but we've seen that big changes can be difficult to grasp or adapt to with these double turn lefts and no left turns. The city did conduct a survey in 2018 or 2019 about traffic flow but opted not to use the proposed changes until after the bridge reconstruction. I would like to see those changes brought back to attention and have an informed decision made from that.

Thanks for reading.

Cabbie Red, Owen Sound




CopyRight ©2015, ©2016, ©2017 of Hub Content
is held by content creators