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Kingston, Ont. residents call for traffic safety improvements after bus crash

Click to play video: 'Kingston, Ont. residents call for traffic safety improvements after bus crash' Kingston, Ont. residents call for traffic safety improvements after bus crash
Residents of a Kingston neighbourhood are calling on the city to improve traffic safety along Centennial Drive after the latest crash involving a city bus – May 6, 2022

On Thursday night, Brian Lee says he heard a crash behind his home at the intersection of Centennial Drive and Kingsdale Avenue.

“Last night’s experience was like a nightmare all over again,” Lee says.

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A transit bus and an Audi collided meters from his home, an incident that was all too familiar to Nov. 28, 2020, when a transit bus crashed into the back of his house, forcing him out for a year while repairs were made.

“If the people were driving a little bit faster, it would have been (collided) into our home again,” he continues.

In the latest crash, Kingston Police say a city bus travelling west on Kingsdale struck a northbound car that allegedly failed to stop at a red light — nearly identical to what happened in 2020.

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“The two collisions do have similarities because of the directionality of the vehicles involved,” says Const. Ash Gutheinz of Kingston Police. “We don’t see a systemic problem with Kingston city transit buses and motor vehicles at this intersection, it’s more of a coincidence than not.”

But nearby neighbours say the intersection is collision-prone.

“One every two weeks, sometimes every week there is an accident,” says area resident Susan Beamish. “I’ve seen bad ones, I’ve seen fender-benders, but it’s at the point now we hear a big bang and the neighbours go out to help. There’s another accident at the corner.”

Area residents would like to see the right lane on Centennial Drive turn into an exclusive turning lane to prevent vehicles speeding through the intersection as two lanes merge into one.

“Stop the one lane merging, make it a right-hand turn lane only,” Beamish says. “Get rid of it (merge lane) on the other side, speed bumps, something needs to be done.”

Both Lee and Beamish have filed complaints with the city asking for street-calming measures.

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“Do we need somebody to die on the corner, or a bunch of people to die on the corner, before something is going to be done?” Beamish asks.

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Police say the driver of the Audi was charged with failing to stop for a red light, while a passenger was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

No one on the bus was hurt.

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