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2013-12-11 at 14:50

No lights

By Jodi Lundmark,
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New safety measure are being placed at the junction of Highway 61 and Chippewa Road.

With the closure of the James Street Swing Bridge due to the Oct. 29 fire that damaged the structure, traffic at the highway junction has increased causing safety concerns.

Communications coordinator for Ontario's ministry of transportation Annemarie Piscopo said the MTO conducted traffic counts to assess the diverted traffic and found that traffic lights aren't warranted at this time.

They will be adding an overhead flashing beacon similar to the one at John Street Road and Mapleward Road and have changed three existing yield signs to larger yield signs.

"We're also installing additional warning signs as well. The idea is to provide more efficient travel in the area," Piscopo said.

Fort William First Nation Chief Georjann Morriseau spoke with the MTO about improving safety measures at the junction on Tuesday and said she was satisfied with the ministry's plan.

"Right at that junction it gets pretty congested," she said.

"They're putting up more signs a little further down so people are yielding long before they get to the intersection."

The re-opening of the pedestrian walkway on the James Street bridge has helped and Morriseau said she's in contact with Thunder Bay Transit to get more buses to the First Nation.



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mystified says:
The only thing required is common sense and a little respect for fellow motorists then there will be no accidents.
12/11/2013 3:15:02 PM
Wayne79 says:
Im not sure why so many motorists are having problem at this area. Its straight forward, if there are cars coming, do not proceed!! How hard is that to understand?
12/11/2013 3:30:57 PM
deluxecustom says:
Nice fantasy world mystified lives in. Must be nice in there! " traffic lights aren't warranted at this time" should also have added "nor, affordable"! Safety has a price. Anyone who does not believe this is also living in the same world as "Mystified" You can bet the MTO will be out there after there is a fatality. Take that to the bank! There will no longer be vehicular traffic on the swing. Reliable inside info. Also bankable!
12/11/2013 3:44:32 PM
Wayne79 says:
So, what you are saying is that you need to be told when it is safe to proceed and when it isn't safe. Are you unable to figure it out for yourself??
12/11/2013 4:08:16 PM
gusto says:
Speaking of fantasy worlds, your's must be pretty lonely all by yourself. This intersection in no way has enough traffic volume to warrant a traffic light. If people like you (and a large amount of other Thunder Bay drivers) had even had a basic understanding of how to drive properly, this intersection would not be an issue. It will be pretty funny when your "reliable insider info" cheque bounces all the way across the bridge.
12/11/2013 7:55:53 PM
jonthunder says:
This interim measure will hopefully address the concerns for safety and human life, but I am not fully convinced it will; and real solutions will take time; perhaps a bit of speed reduction both ways on hwy. 61 around that intersection for the interim. Longer term, some roadway redesign may be needed to better be able to handle such situations in the future; especially with increased traffic in the future given area population growth. I would also note that there is increased congestion at the airport intersection/lights as people scramble to the lanes needed for turns at the last moment. There well may be increased traffic accidents in this area, and as they say SPEED counts....
12/11/2013 3:51:34 PM
Dudebro says:
Thank gawd their not putting lights - This is a highway. People already seem to have some weird idea that they need to slow down to 60 or 70 km/h on that whole stretch of hwy right from the bridge out to the arena. Not sure why people feel they suddenly need to slow down along there as it is a regular 90km/h highway.

Next time you drive out that highway look behind you...if there's a huge lineup behind you and your first in the group please look down at your speed and adjust accordingly if suddenly you find yourself doing 50. You don't have to speed...just realize your holding everyone up.
If you can't handle it...driving probably isn't for you.
12/11/2013 4:41:59 PM
mk25mk25 says:
Idk what kind of crack you smoke when driving but im pretty sure from high way 61 to bannons the speed drops at the bottom of that first hill by the mill there iss a sign that says 60 KM/H maximum. to those of you doing 90-100 down that road in the middle of a community (IE; There are houses/trailers on both sides of the road, not to mention school bus turning zones and also Kids at play signs) give your head a shake.
12/11/2013 6:17:03 PM
DougMyers says:
The same could be said for you because apparently you cannot read. The poster was refering to the area between the airport and the arena by the Neebing Roadhouse, all hwy 61. You are refer to 61b or commonly called Chippewa Road or City Road.

Yes it is 90km/h on hwy 61 and yes since the close of the swing bridge most people that turn onto 61b are doing 60 - 70 km/h along the hwy. Poeple it is 90 km/h.
12/12/2013 8:42:03 AM
Luxe says:
I'm one of the ones who have been driving 90, and slow down to 60 at the intersection coming into the city as I have been cut off 4 times in the last 2 days and have almost hit the vehicles "merging" onto the highway. Try driving into the city at 4pm. Not to mention the people turning onto the reserve skidding with no traction just as you are about to hit the intersection. It is a harrowing experience. You have to slow down as people are merging into the traffic at 30km's and not getting up to speed until they reach the mill. I think they should also publish how many accidents have occurred in the last 2 weeks. Last night traffic was backed up to the airport because of an accident, there was a big one on the first big snow fall, I believe there was another one last week. 90km is the maximum speed limit and is posted for driving in optimal conditions.
12/12/2013 10:32:46 AM
grs says:
I'm pretty sure Dudebro meant from the bridge over the Kam to the Tournament Centre. The speed limit is 90 that whole stretch.

That being said, Dudebro is wrong. People tend to drive 60 to 70 km/h from Arthur street to the arena, not from the bridge.
12/12/2013 8:52:02 AM
musicferret says:

Its hilarious how slow our highways up here are. The 401 has thinner lanes, almost no shoulders in many areas, and at least 50 times the volume per lane per day; and yet somehow most people are cruising at 125, with the left lane between 130 and 140.

Here in Thunder Bay, we have gigantic wide lanes, almost no vehicles comparatively, and people still go 80 at times.
Car technology has improved and its about time to boost the limit to 100 with no ticketing until 125 minimum.
12/12/2013 12:22:57 AM
Dudebro says:
Extra flashing signs etc aren't going to help. All they do is show that MTO is attempting to do something so they're not blamed.
People who drive that area all the time already know it's busy and they already know there's an intersection.
It's thick headed people who pull out in front of vehicles cutting them all off or else refusing to accelerate properly to get up to highway speed that is causing the problems. You don't pull out onto a highway and do 50! Its your own fault if you get hammered by some semi truck that couldn't slow down because of YOU!

Roads get busy, that's just life. It can't always be little old slow lane Thunder Bay.

12/11/2013 5:45:54 PM
unknowncronik says:
"overhead flashing beacon"???? that's all??

Put in a cloverleaf like they did @ the top of Hodder Avenue at minimum!!!
12/11/2013 10:52:25 PM
rukiddingme says:
Today at 5 pm the traffic was backed up from Chippewa Rd to the airport. I'm sure it will be like this everyday during rush hour. They need to put measures in place to avoid an accident.
12/11/2013 11:01:40 PM
jimbob100 says:
Remember when exiting Chippewa rd that it is a yield to the traffic flow on Hwy 61......NOT A MERGE!!!!! STOP CUTTING OFF TRAFFIC TRAVELING HWY SPEEDS
12/12/2013 6:44:21 AM
rootbear says:
yield, merge, green,'s all the same!
12/12/2013 4:34:06 PM
Tbayhabs33 says:
People in this city are scared of the hwy...I should NEVER EVER EVER see someone hitting their brakes on a highway it's embarassing...who teaches u people how to drive...just stay at home till April and do us all a favor
12/12/2013 7:21:07 AM
conker2012 says:
There is no need for a light, just a merge lane heading north out of Chippewa road.

Though a lot of people don't know how to used them, I think survival of the fittest will fix this problem in due time.
12/12/2013 9:50:46 AM
gtk says:
it's not the junction... it's the turn before and after the junction... the congestion at the junction just makes the turn more dangerous especially if you're heading south coming down the hill, over the bridge and into the turn... i'm pretty sure this was the scene of a fatal accident a couple of years ago
12/12/2013 10:31:39 AM
Dockboy says:
Glad I don't have to use that highway.
12/12/2013 10:57:12 AM
Cletus Van Damme says:
Yeeeee hawwwww!
Gotta git to the pumps and save $3.00 on a fill-er-up!
12/12/2013 4:10:48 PM
Neebing1414 says:
actually i save 15-20 per fill up and know how to merge properly as i drive the highway daily and see how stupid most people that drive in this town and surrounding areas
12/12/2013 9:46:16 PM
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