County of Brant Council agreed to put off the proposed conversion of Mile Hill Road as a one-way southbound road during their Administration and Operations Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
Staff have received various complaints and concerns throughout the years about the activity on Mile Hill Road between Hillside Avenue, Washington Street, Old Mill Street and Powerline Road.
Councillor John Bell noted that there were seven accidents in the past five years on the 1.3-kilometre stretch of road that is Mile Hill Road.
“There is an urban myth that there are never any accidents on Mile Hill and the work that Michael Balog has done in conjunction with the OPP reveals that in the last five years there has been seven accidents on Mile Hill, and there being a further three at the junction of Mile Hill and Powerline so for all those people in that part of Paris that believe it isn’t an accident area – it is and that is why we are tackling it the way we are,” he said.
In years’ past, staff have installed many modifications to the road such as the following signs: 40km/hr signs, pedestrian signs, weight restrictions, hidden entrance signs, curve and stop ahead signs, as well a reconstruction of the road with guard rails.
Since 2019 the Brant Safe Streets program has allowed residents to submit their concerns and despite the above changes made, staff continue to receive concerns about speeding, pedestrians and cyclists, and signage on the road.
While there have been minor speed improvements on the road since 2019, staff continued to look at solutions for the road such as adding a signal that would allow one direction of travel at a time based on a signal light or adding a time of day plan that would see traffic traveling southbound everyday between midnight and noon, and northbound between noon and midnight. Staff also looked at adding speed humps or ultimately turning the road into a permanent one-way road traveling southbound, while having one lane reserved as a multi-use path to improve and enable active transportation such as walking and cycling.
Staff determined that the best plausible action would be to convert the road into a one-way and, in 2022, a public notice went out to residents so they could share comments and ask questions through EngageBrant. An in-person meeting was also held to discuss the possible one-way conversion.
Most residents did not support a one-way street as it would add additional time to their commute, and a majority did not want changes to the road while others preferred speed humps.
Councillor David Miller also brought up another option proposed by Paris residents that could be dead-ending the road part way through and no longer making it a throughfare road for everyday vehicles with the exception of emergency vehicles.
Staff will continue to gather information and data throughout 2023 while utilizing already installed digital speed boards, installing speed cushions on Washington Street and at the top of the hill near Powerline Road, as well as knock down signs around various curves.
Council will look at another report come spring 2024 or sooner to discuss possible recommendations.