St. Clair wants four ways stops on Kimball

This accident on May 4, 2020, prompted calls for Lambton County to do something about road safety at the corner of Petrolia Line and Kimball Road in St. Clair Township. File photo

Alex Kurial/Local Journalism Initiative

St. Clair Township is turning to the county for assistance as it tries to solve the issue of road safety at a pair of Kimball Road intersections.

The crossings at Petrolia Line and Courtright Line have been the subject of numerous complaints due to their history of collisions. Two people were killed in crashes at Petrolia and Kimball last year.

Mayor Steve Arnold says when the area experiences heavy snowfall, as it did this week, visibility becomes a factor. “I could barely see the centre light in the intersection but couldn’t tell for sure how far I was away from it and the stop sign was mostly covered in snow making it difficult to see,” the mayor said after a drive on a snowy day earlier this month.

“I was thinking the flashing lights over the stop signs may help commuters at these deadly intersections,” says the mayor. He says Lambton has paid for similar lights at Warwick intersections in the past and felt they would do the same for St. Clair now.
Council unanimously approved the request to the county at their Feb. 16 meeting. Councillor Bill Myers wants the township go even further and explore the possibility of a four-way stop at each intersection. Stop signs are only present for vehicles going north/south at each intersection.

“The rate of speed going through there is enough that if there is a collision there it usually is very severe,” says Myers. “I think having a four-way stop, if there is human error in a collision then it would be at a lower rate of speed.”

Arnold says the idea has been brought before county council before but is usually disregarded due to concerns over reducing traffic flow on the busy east/west routes.

Councillor Tracy Kingston says the problem isn’t caused by vehicles travelling east/west. “It’s mostly people blasting through that stop sign…(Four way stops) will slow that other traffic down, but it’s getting people to stop that are going north and south is the problem,” she says.

Myers’ motion passed 4-2 and now goes to county council for consideration.

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