The changes proposed by the United Counties to the County Road 2 corridor in Morrisburg unveiled a couple weeks ago, in large part, make sense. It will be good to see something done with an area that has looked relatively the same way since 1958.
There is no doubt that something has been needed to improve that area of Morrisburg, and address the safety concerns many have.
The construction of a roundabout, similar in design to the Iroquois roundabout, is a good first step. A roundabout is friendly to transports, vehicles, and pedestrians. A second step is the installation of signaled crosswalks and the addition of more sidewalks connecting the business area of the Morrisburg plaza to the businesses on the north side of County Road 2.
There are some concerns with this plan. Very little focus has been paid to the area west of the roundabout along County Road 2. There are businesses on both sides of the road, including the Upper Canada Playhouse. There is a considerable number of residential homes on the south side as well. There should be additional sidewalks and signaled pedestrian crossings west of the roundabout.
The same can be said north of the roundabout. A sidewalk connection needs to be made to the Lockewood Subdivision along Country Road 31. Vehicle access to the gas station and restaurant at the roundabout needs more consideration to ensure safe access into, and out of, that business. Disappointingly, the design has little improvement for vehicles entering or exiting the plaza.
Lastly, there needs to be a plan for handling traffic during the construction of the roundabout. When the Iroquois roundabout was constructed in 2017, it was located on the edge of the residential area. There were few alternatives for vehicles to detour around and avoid the construction area. In Morrisburg, there are several east-west routes that are available for detour, but all turn through dense residential areas. There needs to be a clear plan put in place to ensure that construction of the roundabout does not negatively affect those areas.
In all, this plan is still one of the better plans in recent years designed to improve the look of, and connections to, the Main Street area of Morrisburg. It is our hope that unlike plans created in the past two decades to improve Morrisburg, this one is brought to fruition in a timely manner.