Dufferin News Municipal Orangeville

Two cars go off road in a week at Rolling Hills & McCannell

Two cars go off road in a week at Rolling Hills & McCannell

After multiple incidents on McCannell Avenue, the Town of Orangeville finally acted and installed some safety measures this year to prevent vehicles from leaving the road when travelling along the bend onto Rolling Hills Drive. Now that winter has arrived in full force, there are already indications that this is not enough. Two cars have reportedly gone off the road in a week, the first of which happened on Christmas, just ten days after the town had implemented the last of the safety improvements meant to address the issue.

At the beginning of 2020, on the night of January 2nd, a car crashed into a deck and shook the home of Dielle Robb, located on Marshall Crescent. The motorist involved was charged with impaired driving by the now-disbanded Orangeville Police Services.

This was not the first experience that Dielle and her family had with a vehicle mistakenly driving off the road and onto their property. In 2015, a car crashed through the fence that divides their land from the Town of Orangeville. This time, the accident was a result of bad weather. The municipality was apparently unaware that they were responsible to fix the damaged fence, and the matter was resolved only after getting the attention of the mayor through social media posts. Even then, the Robbs were asking for the town’s assistance with protection from motorists, as there had already been several occasions where vehicles had nearly hit their home since moving there in 2006.

As a result of January’s events, Councillors Lisa Post and Todd Taylor met with the Robbs to learn more about the situation. Throughout several town council meetings, Post and Taylor recommended that the Town of Orangeville implement several safety improvements along McCannell Avenue, including the placement of barricades. It was estimated that guardrails, which needed to be quite long to properly address the issue, would cost upwards of $20,000. Jersey barriers have also been suggested, but there is concern of the danger they present to those in the vehicle. Although Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh joined Taylor and Post in their calls for a proper barricade, the remaining members of council conditioned their support of the motion on guardrails not being included. Post, Taylor, and Macintosh agreed to this to get the other safety improvements enacted. Councillor Debbie Sherwood suggested that the matter of guardrails along this road be brought forward during the 2021 budget discussions. Mayor Sandy Brown indicated that he would not be supportive due to town staff determining that the barricade was not a necessity, in addition to the cost. Orangeville’s council determined that the town would plant a tree barrier instead, along with erecting more signage and painting lines on the road.

At one of the council meetings discussing the matter of implementing safety measures along McCannell Avenue, held on January 27th, it was noted that trees had already been knocked down by vehicles that inadvertently hop over the curb.

“We’ve got a family in our community who cannot sleep at night. They’re concerned about their home and I think it goes beyond trees,” said Councillor Lisa Post.

Two cars go off road in a week at Rolling Hills & McCannell

According to Robb, just ten days after the trees were planted by the town, one was run over. One of the support rods was also bent and broke, as seen in the image above. This happened on Christmas Day.

Dufferin News spoke with Dielle Robb shortly after this incident, who recounted the entire ordeal, beginning in 2006 for her. She says events such as these have taken place since she has moved into her home. Robb has put us in contact with past neighbours who had lived in the area previous to her, suggesting that this has been a known problem for at least fifteen years.

“I just do not know who else to turn to!” Robb told Dufferin News, explaining that her family does not feel safe in their own home during a time when everybody is directed to stay in place. “My kids can’t even play in the backyard.”

On December 30th, pictures of the municipal property were posted to social media. There were vehicle tracks visible in the snow on the land off of McCannell and Rolling Hill, indicating that somebody else had just gone off the road.

Two cars go off road in a week at Rolling Hills & McCannell

Shortly after, Councillor Debbie Sherwood posted the following to a Facebook group that is focused on solving the issue at McCannell Avenue and Rolling Hills Drive.

“When this came to Council last January, I followed the recommendations provided by our highly qualified staff unaware that we would come into a pandemic and those safety measures would not be quickly implemented. I was hopeful that by supporting other safety measures like the line painting, installation of curve signs, trees and the flashing speed sign that this would help with the issue of speeding on that street. I also hoped that with a new police service on board (OPP on October 1st) there would be more enforcement and tickets issued but its too soon to determine if there has been any results from that transition yet. Since new information shared by the neighbourhood and the recent incidents have come to my attention, I have seen now that those measures have not been affective. As a Councillor I assure you that safety of our community and specifically Dielle Duarte Robb, Jason, their children and their home is of the utmost importance to me and I will be supporting the installation of guide rails in that location as soon as possible. The budget will be tabled on January 18, 2021 and I give you my word I will be supporting them.”

Dufferin News will provide updates as they become available. There is a Facebook group named Fix the Corner – McCannell & Rolling Hills that has more information for those interested.

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