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Highway 8 traffic concerns spur city council motion to region for better measures

Repeated concerns from residents in the area have spurred Coun. Scott Hamilton to bring forward a motion asking the region to take another look at the Highway 8/Branchton Road intersection
A Waterloo Regional Police Service cruiser monitors speed at the would-be entrance of Southpoint subdivision near the intersection of Highway 8 (Dundas Street) and Branchton Road.

Cambridge's south end is about to get busier and a councillor wants the region to pay attention to its increasing traffic needs.

Coun. Scott Hamilton is seeking support to approach the region to ask it to take another look at the Highway 8 (Dundas Street) and Branchton Road intersection, which he says is only set to see more traffic in the coming years.

"I'm looking at the developments that are going in, notably Southpoint and the growth that Ward 7 is experiencing," Hamilton said. "We need to ask ourselves what should this intersection be like, not necessarily next week but in five years or 10 years from now. And we need to build that intersection today." 

That's why, he said, he's bringing a notice of motion to this week's council meeting to put it on the table for discussion at a future meeting.

The motion, as shared by Hamilton, asks that council reach out to the Region of Waterloo asking it to reconsider the structure of the intersection of Hwy 8 and Branchton Road and consider adding traffic lights, pedestrian crosswalks, and/or a roundabout to accommodate the intensifying traffic.

"The spirit of this motion comes from multiple conversations with residents on their doorsteps and also through emails and calls," said the Ward 7 councillor. "Residents of the area say when they're pulling out onto that highway, traffic has become intensified, people are speeding and they don't feel safe. I've gone to neighbouring streets as well and been contacted by a number of residents. They've had fender benders and accidents. They say things are getting worse." 

And it's only getting heavier, Hamilton said, especially during rush hour. 

And with the recreation complex slated to going in that area, he said, "how will kids from Moffat Creek (Public School) and Holy Spirit (Catholic Elementary School) and neighbouring communities going to get to that rec complex?"

That area, says the motion, will become a major gateway into the new subdivision, as well as the new Cambridge Recreation Complex and if active transportation is to be encouraged, the it is necessary to create safe pedestrian passageways across Hwy 8 to allow residents west of the roadway to safely move to-and-from the Recreation Complex.

The Tuesday council meeting begins at 5 p.m. and will be streamed live via the city's YouTube channel.