Erosion sparks discussion on 'shared' shore road
WINGHAM, ONT. -- As many as 15,000 cyclists and pedestrians use the North Shore Trail in between Port Elgin and Southampton each month, during the summer.
Many still are currently, even though the trail has been closed since April, due to some pretty significant damage caused by Lake Huron’s record setting level.
“Lake Huron is obviously pretty high and that’s caused damage to shoreline infrastructure all over the province. We’re no different, our North Shore Trail has been badly washed out,” says Saugeen Shores mayor, Luke Charbonneau.
Fixing the paved shoreline trail will cost millions, and requires extensive engineering.
So for this summer only, Saugeen Shores council has floated the idea of making one of nearby North Shore Road’s traffic lanes, a lane for cyclists and pedestrians, leaving the other as a one way only road for cars.
“Making it a one way road will create some issues for folks who live there. It’s a long way around to get back to the road. I think there’s quite a bit of concern for people live along the road,” says Charbonneau.
But, cyclists and pedestrians CTV News spoke with love the idea.
“Summer is here already and people want to get outside and enjoy the weather and the lake, so it makes sense to limit the car traffic and allow more people to walk,” says Wassim Iskander, who was walking on what’s left of North Shore Trail.
His fellow pedestrian, Mark Farid, agrees.
“It’s corroded here, and we don’t have that much traffic to I think it’s going to be a good idea, since we can’t fix it this summer. It’s so beautiful out here, and we need to walk here,” he says.
Residents have until Friday to take a public survey on the “shared road.”
“For years, this was a shared road. The North Shore Trail is only ten years old, so before that cars and cyclists and pedestrians share the space, so that may be an option too,” says Mayor Charbonneau.