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Provincial working group formed to study 2+1 highway system for the north

It’s basically a three-lane road with continuous, alternating passing lines every two to five kilometres
Swedish highway

An idea developed in Sweden to reduce highway traffic deaths is now the subject of a working group to see if it will work in northern Ontario.

See: Swedes may have the answer to stop carnage on Northern Ontario highways

Mark Wilson was the lead for "Going the Extra Mile for Safety," a committee established in 2015 of the Temiskaming Shores and Area Chamber of Commerce.

He has been named to the new Provincial working group.

After years of lobbying by municipalities for highway improvements, the ministry confirmed in January that it’s planning a pilot project to test out the system, which has been proven to reduce highway collisions and prevent fatalities.

"He brings a wealth of knowledge, having studied the model for years and has traveled to Sweden and Ireland to see the construction and maintenance in both winter and summer seasons," says  Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities President Danny Whalen.

“The commitment to a working group to determine suitable locations and criteria for a 2 + 1 model pilot project comes as welcome news to municipalities across the north,” says FONOM President Danny Whalen.

It’s basically a three-lane road with continuous, alternating passing lines every two to five kilometres.

The oncoming lanes are separated with a centre line safety barrier of either wire cable or a steel guard rail. Reflectors on the barrier delineate the middle of the road at night or during whiteout conditions.

"Municipalities across the North have provided resolutions supporting the proposed project and see it as a financially feasible way to create safer and more efficient travel," says a news release from the group.

Wilson also presented the concept during presentations to the annual conferences of the Ontario Good Roads Association and FONOM. Both presentations generated significant interest and support for the 2+1 model, which has significantly reduced fatalities and severe injuries in many countries worldwide.

“Safe and efficient travel is vital to growing the north,” said Whalen, “and having the provincial government as a partner in new ideas is a direct benefit to northern communities.”

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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