Tweak bus route to save time

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Editor’s note: This is a copy of a letter to Municipality of Chatham-Kent’s Engineering and Transportation Division.

Sir: Re: Route 1 bus delays. I often ride on the Chatham Conventional buses, Route 1 in particular.

The Route 1 bus frequently encounters significant delays at the intersection of Poplar and Sandys streets. Such delays are usually caused by heavy traffic heading in both directions on Sandys. In such driving conditions, the bus drivers must take inordinate lengths of time before being able to proceed safely.

In some instances, these delays have amounted to four or five minutes. A delay of such magnitude will usually cause havoc with the entire transit system’s already tight scheduling.

In addition to the aforementioned delay issue, the Route 1 bus frequently faces a further delay near this problem intersection when a fleet of school buses exit onto Poplar. At such times, Poplar becomes barely passable, and especially so in winter.

Route 1 bus riders often express their exasperation at having to endure such delays. Many propose turning the intersection of Poplar and Sandys into an all-way stop. Others go so far as to demand that traffic signals be installed at the aforementioned intersection.

It should be noted, however, that traffic signals have already been installed at the intersection of Fielder Avenue and Sandys, just a short block away from the notorious delay-causing intersection. Those traffic signals appear to be very seldom used.

It is strongly suggested, therefore, that the municipality take action regarding the Poplar and Sandys intersection, either with the installation of stop signs in all directions or with the installation of traffic signals.

At the same time, however, a determination could be made as to whether the Route 1 bus could be re-routed, from Sheldon Avenue along Wilson Avenue and Fielder to Sandys. Such re-routing, although fairly minor, would take advantage of the existing (but rarely used) traffic signals at the Sandys and Fielder intersection.

Finally, it should be noted for the record that some riders have further suggested a re-routing of the Route 1 bus westward from St. Clair Street along McNaughton Avenue to Sandys, thence down Sandys. Such a re-routing would provide needed transit service to that commercial area.

I urge the municipality to take action on this issue.

Thank you for your attention to this problem.

Bill Zock

Chatham

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