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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Editorials Canada Day Fireworks Traffic

by Doug Harvey

I have been going to the Canada Day fireworks on the beach for a long time. I drive and try to park in a different place every year because I take my camera gear which is kind of heavy to carry for too long a distance. This year as I was looking for a spot to park close to the beach I came across an empty spot close to Edith Cavell Blvd. in Mackie's parking lot, a spot that I had used before.

Less than a minute after the fireworks had finished I gathered my gear and made a dash for my car through a light but building crowd in less than a second minute. After a total elapsed time of approximately two minutes and thirty seconds from the time the fireworks ended I had managed to drive halfway through the parking lot, and I thought that I was doing pretty good.

Well was I ever wrong, because that last nine car lengths to William Street took over an hour to reach. Traffic on William Street was hardly moving, mostly do to everyone converging on the only way out of the area. I did however get lucky because on my way out of the parking lot with everyone in a single file turning left I had reached a spot in the parking lot with enough room to pass four cars and turn right onto William Street. Everyone that lives in Port Stanley knows that taking only right turns at an intersection is the only way to get around town when it gets busy.

From William I made it over to Bessie then over onto Carlow in simply amazing time. Carlow was slow up to Bridge where the OPP were directing traffic, now that was a mess. Traffic going north from William was being directed only onto Carlow, and traffic going north on Carlow was being offered only a right turn option onto Bridge, which I took. I was doing well until I reached that Colborne Warren intersection where I had to make a left turn to get back to Carlow where I live and where there was also another OPP roadblock. I told the officer I was just trying to get back home, and that I lived on Carlow, for a second I thought I was in trouble but he did let me pass.

I got to the Carlow Warren intersection behind a couple of cars, and yes there was another roadblock on Warren for eastbound traffic. Traffic heading north on Carlow was backed up and not moving very well but a short time later the OPP officer let us turn left onto Carlow. That short trip heading south on Carlow at approximately 11.25 pm was certainly a eye-opener, more than an hour after the fireworks had finished Carlow Road heading north was still filled with people still trying to get home. Cars were almost stationary from Warren Street to the Port Stanley Terminal Rail yard.

Sure it was busy with a lot of people for the fireworks, but certainly not the biggest crowd ever. I just hope that for next years Canada day fireworks that the Municipality figures out how to add more right turns to Port Stanley's intersections to help increase traffic flow!

Last Updated: Tuesday, 03 July 2018 11:26:39 AM EST

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