“Somebody’s going to end up in the drink!”

Curve looking southeast

With banks of snow alongside the road and the Black River covered in ice and snow, the potential for danger (in the form of an unwanted trip into the water if you happen to lose control of your vehicle) doesn’t look very severe. But take away that snow, and – well, I think we’ve got a job for the Municipality of Tweed‘s roads department.

“Somebody’s going to end up in the drink!” Those were pretty much the first words out of the mouth of my younger sister, Melanie, when she arrived here at the Manse for a family celebration this past New Year’s Day.

What she was referring to was the road into Queensborough from the southeast, which at the edge of the village takes the form of a bridge over the Black River; that is followed as you continue on into “downtown” by a curve alongside the river. The reason for Melanie’s dire prediction was the fact that very little stands between that river and any vehicle whose driver is unlucky enough to lose control in slippery conditions on the curve.

Now, in my photo at the top of this post the situation doesn’t look all that bad, but that’s because of all the snow we’ve had in recent weeks: the high banks of it alongside the road would surely prevent all but the heaviest vehicle from splashing down if the aforementioned loss of control were to happen right at the moment. But when there isn’t any snow to act as a safety wall – and keep in mind that at New Year’s, when Melanie was visiting, we had had next to no snow – well, it’s a different story. Here, take a look in this photo I took in the dog days of summer (late August) a couple of years ago:

Curve in the dog days of summer

Here’s the scene minus the snowbanks, in a photo I took to show the vegetation in the river that tells you it’s the dog days of summer. Now, picture that scene on a dark and stormy night with slippery roads, and I think you’ll agree there’s a potential hazard.

As you can see, there are a few desultory guardrails in place; but they are extremely elderly and I’m thinking it wouldn’t take much momentum to knock them over. And much of the curve has no guardrails along it at all.

I don’t want this post to sound like a complaint, because it isn’t; it’s really more of an observation, and a question about whether something should be done. I’d be interested to hear what other Queensborough-area residents think.

I also think a good argument could be made that this very pretty scene at the centre of our village looks better without additional guardrails.

But I do feel that some consideration should be given by the municipal authorities as to whether that particular stretch of road meets standard safety criteria. In this case the “municipal authorities” would be the Roads Department of the Municipality of Tweed, of which Queensborough is a part. Now, I should add for those not familiar with the Municipality of Tweed that it covers an absolutely vast area, which means that the Roads Department is responsible for maintaining a lot of roads and bridges. So I’m not at all criticizing the fact that our possible road probem hasn’t been attended to yet.

But, you know, nothing ventured, nothing gained; so here I am venturing my observations of the situation. Municipality of Tweed roads people and councillors, consider yourself alerted to an issue that might need some attention.

2 thoughts on ““Somebody’s going to end up in the drink!”

  1. I’ve noticed that the snowbanks have been winged back further than normal — a tree at my place was hit last week.

    One thought I mentioned last summer is a raised sidewalk or boardwalk along the riverbank.

    Finally, a truck did indeed go down the embankment last summer.

    • A boardwalk would be lovely! Though I suppose one would have to balance its niceness against the loss of the natural look. And yes, I thought you’d told me about a truck going over the bank, but didn’t mention it in the post because I wasn’t sure I had the story straight. Thanks for sharing a tidbit that backs up the argument that this is a situation that should at least be looked into.

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