Trail traffic troubles
Residents want clearer detour signage
Community trail neighbours in Burnet and Larrimac noticed dozens of cars on the trail this past weekend and some blame unclear signage for the uptick in unwanted and illegal traffic.
The issue started on July 6 when the municipality completely shut the old highway near 1290 Hwy 105 to replace a culvert. Pedestrians and cyclists were detoured to the community trail and motorized traffic was detoured to Hwy 5. But not all drivers realized that some signage was just for pedestrians and cyclists, and followed the detour arrows down Chemin Larrimac or Chemin Burnett and onto the trail.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a dozen [cars on the trail] yesterday, at least,” Larrimac resident and trail neighbour Chantal Ramsay told The Low Down.
She said she even saw a truck drive around 50 km/h along the trail at night.
“Who’s stupid enough to go down the trail at-speed at 10:45 at night? Do you think people don’t walk their dogs at night?” she said.
Chelsea put up orange wooden barriers across the trail near the detour signs to block confused drivers near Ramsay’s home on the morning of July 12, after a weekend of high traffic.
“At least the municipality has done something about it now. I’m happy about that,” she said.
But she added that she has seen cars come to the end of Chemin Larrimac, see the barricade blocking the trail to the north, and head south on the trail instead.
Ramsay said she suspects most of the people driving along the trail are confused drivers from out of the area.
“They need better signage,” she said regarding the municipality.
While the signs for the bike and pedestrian detour to the trail do have pictures of bicycles and pedestrians on them, they don’t expressly forbid cars, trucks, or motorcycles.
“If [the signs] don’t say that cars and motorcycles can’t go down, of course they’ll still go down,” Ramsay said.
This isn’t a new issue. Chelsea residents have been calling for barricades to block cars from accessing the trail, and have reported people driving on the trail since it was built.
“It’s definitely not a new thing, but the incidences of traffic on the trail have at least quintupled since they put up the barriers [on Hwy 105 for the culvert work],” Ramsay explained.
She thanked The Low Down for covering this community issue, but said this information needs to be spread wider than The Low Down’s readership area, since she suspects out-of-towners as the trail driving culprits.
So, if you have a friend visiting the area, consider informing them that motorists should use Hwy 5 to get around the culvert work by using the on and off ramps at Scott and River Roads, while pedestrians and cyclists should detour around the culvert work by getting on or off the trail at Larrimac, Kirk’s Ferry, Ramsay, or Burnett roads.
The culvert work is expected to end July 20.