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Niagara Falls
Sunday, September 24, 2023
Mind Your Meters: Stop signs successfully slow speedsters at tricky intersection
Resident Tony Giordano says the traffic issues on McNab and Church are much better since the town reduced the speed limit last summer. EVAN LOREE

A few signs have made a world of difference in rural Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Residents on McNab Road say they’re happy to see slower speeds and fewer accidents in their neighbourhood after the town installed a stop sign and reduced speed limits at the corner of Church and McNab roads.

Retired farmer Tony Giordano lives at the top of a hill near the intersection and says he’s thankful to the former lord mayor Betty Disero and the previous council for calming the traffic. 

Giordano said he has neighbours who had been complaining about speeding in the neighbourhood for 30 years or more.

It wasn’t until the former lord mayor met him at his property on Church Road in March 2022 that things changed.

It was a “done deal” when Disero was backing out of his driveway in her car and another driver almost hit her, Giordano said. 

“It scared the sh– out of her.”

That was March 29, from Giordano’s recollection. 

Less than a month later, on April 25, council voted unanimously to install a four-way stop at the intersection and reduce the speed limits on Church Road, from Concession 6 to Read Road from 80 to 60 kilometres per hour. 

Giordano was surprised to learn when he phoned the town last year that they didn’t have a record of any accidents at the intersection.

“The town does not get notified unless there’s a death,” Giordano said.

But he wonders how somebody wasn’t killed at that intersection when the speed limit was still 80 kilometres an hour.

Some of his neighbours were skeptical of decreasing the speed to 60 last summer, but now, “they say it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.” Giordano said.

Next-door neighbour Priya Gill has two kids, one 15-year-old and one eight-year-old.

Before the stop signs were put in, Gill wouldn’t let her kids get anywhere near the road.

Gill told The Lake Report the traffic is dramatically slower since last summer and she feels her kids are much safer when they’re outside playing.

It’s better now, Gill said, because even if drivers are “not following the exact speed,” they still need to “slow down for the stop sign.” 

Before the stop signs were put in and before the speed limits were decreased, Giordano said there were regular collisions and near misses at the intersection, which sits at the bottom of a little valley.

He recalls one incident where a driver ended up in the backyard of neighbours Karen Perry and Joanne Lynagh. 

Lynagh and Perry, who live at the corner of Church and McNab, were happy to report the stop sign and reduced speed limit have “completely eliminated” the speeding through their intersection.

We have seen so many times over the years crashes, near crashes, and cars driven off the road,” Lynagh told The Lake Report in an email. 

Perry and Lynagh have lived together at their property on Church Road for 22 years and are happy to report that they feel much safer. 

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