Smiths Falls council discusses need for right hand turn lane as part of Beckwith St. re-design
Smiths Falls council recently debated the removal of the free-flowing right hand turning lanes at the intersection of Elmsley and Beckwith.
James Fookes of Morrison Hershfield engineering explained that, due to the geometry of the intersection, the righthand land that merges Beckwith traffic onto Elmsley Street is essential for trucks. The righthand lane bringing traffic from Elmsley to Beckwith, however, could be removed with only minor delays during peak traffic hours.
At Monday’s Committee of the Whole, Councillor Niki Dwyer expressed concern that the lane removal might increase congestion and even divert drivers away from the downtown core.
Mayor Shawn Pankow offered a rebuttal, speaking in favor of the lane removal in the interest of cyclist and pedestrian safety.
The discussion of lane removal fit into the larger vision of upgrades that will appear in Phase Two of the Beckwith Revitalization Project.
Streetscaping, cycle tracks, and a pedestrian crossing at Church Street are expected to make the street safe and accessible, while replacement of water and sewer infrastructure will ease maintenance and operation procedures for decades to come.