Each time Tim Read hears about another accident along a treacherous stretch of Canal Road, he’s reminded of the ill-fated night that forever changed his life.
Six months ago Read lost his only child Cassandra, and his grandson, after they slid off Canal Road into the water below. The two struggled to escape for 45 minutes, but their fight was a futile one. Both drowned.
Since then there have been about half a dozen incidents, including one on Wednesday night and one a week ago. Read can only wonder when something will be done to make things safer.
“Everybody knows it’s a deaths trap,” he adds. “There’s no shoulders on the road. There’s no guardrails, and there’s more and more traffic using it.”
A few minor steps have been taken on Canal Road. Signs have been put up, the speed limit has been lowered, and now the town of Bradford has agreed to put up guardrails along parts of the road.
But Read says it’s not nearly enough. In the spring, he went to Queen’s Park with his daughter’s truck to appeal directly to the government.
He was pleased to hear that $8 million was being given to Simcoe County for road upgrades, but now he’s learned only $200,000 will be spent on guardrails instead off the million it would take to do the whole road.
“Sure I’m mad. I figure I lost my only daughter and grandson because of needless neglect and carelessness on Simcoe County’s part,” he fumes.
“Isn’t their life worth a million bucks, and to prevent any future accidents?”
Allan Greenwood, Communications Manager for Simcoe County defended the decision.
“The county has a very significant network of roads, bridges to maintain, so the money could not be spent in one area. It has to be allocated across the entire county.”