Drivers who are ignoring the ‘road closed’ signs on Millard Avenue in downtown Newmarket are driving residents around the bend.
“In spite of numerous signs, drivers, including those in large trucks, are still driving to what now is a dead end,” said Millard Avenue resident Nancy Fish, who has volunteered to be a community ambassador during a round of construction on her street. “Many of the drivers, in frustration, speed back toward Lorne Avenue. Millard Avenue is a residential street with children and seniors. It only takes one vehicle to cause an accident.”
“I would like drivers to please pay attention and heed traffic signs, but most of all, to please slow down,” she said.
The incidents have become so numerous that Fish recently filed a traffic complaint with York Regional Police.
“All of this has led me to file a report regarding speeding and dangerous driving,” she said.
As of Sept. 3, Millard Avenue from Lorne Avenue to Queen Street has been temporarily closed to through traffic for a capital works project that includes replacing culverts and building a new pedestrian island to increase safety at the Haskett Park crossing.
It is part of a bigger project that will eventually see the Tom Taylor Trail extended up Davis Drive to Haskett Park at Millard Avenue, construction of a visitor parking lot, and the development of a unique parkette known as a “breathing space”, where residents can enjoy time in green space as the area intensifies.
In the meantime and until December 2019, only residents, waste collection vehicles and emergency services have access to the area. All others will need to follow a detour posted by the construction contractor.
The area’s local councillor, Bob Kwapis, also took to social media to implore drivers to pay attention to the construction signs on the street and to slow down.
“Despite of the vast amount of road signs, some drivers still try to get through and, with the frustration of being forced to turn around, they speed back toward Lorne Ave. SLOW DOWN! This is a residential street with kids and seniors,” Kwapis said.
A road-closed sign is regarded as a regulatory sign and gives a direction that must be obeyed, according to the Transportation Ministry. Drivers who run afoul of the sign can be hit with a $110 fine and three demerit points, under the Highway Traffic Act.