Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
May 20, 2024
22° Mostly Cloudy
April 24, 2024
Volume 194 No. 17

Ring Road

A bypass for freight trucks is proposed to divert traffic from Picton Main Street
<p>Downtown Picton. (Gazette File Photo)</p>
Downtown Picton. (Gazette File Photo)

The transportation Master Plan is being amended to keep up with new development. “The Picton Settlement Area is expected to see significant population and employment growth by the year 2043,” it states, going well beyond the assumptions of the first plan. Development at Base31 in particular is top of mind.

A Public Consultation Centre, held earlier this month, addressed concerns around downtown traffic congestion; pedestrian and cyclist safety; connections among key locations, including Main Street, Delhi Park, the Millennium Trail and Picton Heights; and public transit. The PCC suggested ideas to better connect the Heights and Main Street. 

Most controversial is a proposal to “designate preferred freight movement corridors outside the downtown.” In plain language, planners want to create a “truck bypass” to divert freight traffic.

Driving traffic away from our downtown commercial core is certainly not in the best interest of our member businesses and their viability.”

Mark Rose, Picton BIA

The proposal is not to build a “ring road,” but to connect existing roads to move truck traffic coming in on County Road 49 or Highway 33 around town rather than through it. Suggestions include extending George Wright Blvd to County Road 1, linking County Roads 34 and 32, and extending County Road 1 to connect with County Road 22.

While everyone would appreciate moving heavy freight traffic away from Picton Main Street, local businesses worry desirable customer traffic might bypass the downtown shopping district as well. 

“There is a laundry list of small North American downtowns that have gone the way of the Dodo because of by-pass routes or ‘ring roads’ and the BIA certainly doesn’t want Picton to become another one.
Driving traffic away from our downtown commercial core is certainly not in the best interest of our member businesses and their viability,” said Mark Rose, speaking for the Picton Business Improvement Association.

Proposed “Future Road Network,” TMP Amendment, April 2024 (Graphic by Stantec)

As for pedestrians, suggested solutions include widening or adding sidewalks, adding crossings, and a trail through Delhi Park. 

“The Delhi revitalization project will help to create safe, well-lit walking paths in a very under-used green space,” said Mr. Rose.

For cyclists, planners propose dedicated cycling connections between Picton, the Heights and the Millennium Trail, and separating bicycle trails from ATV trails.No information about costs is available at this stage.

A Public Consultation Centre was hosted in December. 14 people attended, generating two comment forms and eight emails. 19 people signed in at the second PCC. At press time 6 comments or emails had been received. 

Residents are encouraged to review the information presented at the PCC and make comments before Friday, May 3. Full information is available at the County website.

A third PCC is planned for late spring or early summer.

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 17 edition of The Picton Gazette
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