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Community reaches 'breaking point' over dangers of county intersection

Residents from Southwest Middlesex have launched a petition asking Middlesex County to build a roundabout at the intersection of Glendon Drive and Melbourne Road after a four-year-old was killed in a crash at the intersection.

Residents have created a petition for a roundabout after a child died in a crash at a county intersection

Longtime Glencoe resident Cathie Parsons (left) and Southwest Middlesex councillor Christa Cowell (right) are pushing to make an intersection southwest of Mount Brydges safer after a crash last week that claimed the life of a 4-year-old girl. (Liny Lamberink/CBC News)

Many residents from Southwest Middlesex say they dread passing through the intersection of Glendon Drive and Melbourne Road, located southwest of Mount Brydges, due to safety concerns.

"My foot actually hovers over the brake when I go through it," said Cathie Parsons, a longtime resident of Glencoe who used to travel through the road to commute to London.

Now, Parsons avoids the intersection by making a turn a few streets over. 

"I know the frequency which that stop sign [on Melbourne Road] isn't obeyed and vehicles just slide through," she said. 

Last week, a four-year-old girl died in a three-vehicle crash at the intersection, prompting concerned residents to launch an online petition asking Middlesex County to create a roundabout at there.

As of Tuesday, more than 2,500 people had signed the petition, including Parsons.

"I think because we've lost a four-year-old before her life could really start, everybody has now said 'OK, this is the community's breaking point and something needs to change,'" she said.

Not a one-time occurrence

Christa Cowell, the Ward 1 councillor for Southwest Middlesex, says the incident is not a one time occurrence.

"As much as it's absolutely devastating that we've lost this little girl, there's so many people that have more stories about accidents at this intersection," she said. 

Cowell says many vehicles, especially transport trucks drive straight through Glendon Drive. She says better illumination and a bigger stop sign could help with the issue.  

Last week, Cowell moved a motion in council asking the county to look into adding more safety measures at the intersection. 

"Our municipality unfortunately doesn't own the road, [nor] has the ability to control what happens there, which is pretty heartbreaking when something like this happens," she said. 

On Tuesday, Middlesex County Warden Kurtis Smith ordered county staff to prepare a report on additional safety measures for rural road intersections. That report is set to go to county council next month.

CBC News reached out to Middlesex County to ask about the possibility of building a roundabout at the intersection of Glendon Drive and Melbourne Road, but officials declined comment because of a pending lawsuit involving the intersection. 

County officials did say that a roundabout at a rural road can cost about $2.5 million. 

About the Author

Sofia Rodriguez

Reporter/Editor

Sofia Rodriguez is a reporter with CBC News in London. She is a graduate of Western University and Fanshawe College. You can email her at sofia.rodriguez@cbc.ca

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