Traffic on SDG roads has dropped 46 percent since introduction of pandemic measures

Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

SDG – Traffic on five of the busiest roads in Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry (SDG) has dropped significantly since physical distancing, remote working and other pandemic protocols have been instituted. 

A transportation and planning department report presented at the April 30 County Council meeting suggests an average drop of 46 percent covering an earlier part of this month. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided municipalities with an opportunity to understand how the extreme adaptation of remote work changes traffic patterns. 

“With our partners we’re studying the impact of remote working on the transportation network, specifically how broad adaptation of remote work opportunities may lessen the need for infrastructure expansions,” said transportation and planning director Benjamin de Haan. 

County Councillor Kristen Gardner echoed de Haan’s sentiments and suggested an individual’s increased comfort level with working remotely or staying off the road during challenging times may be one positive to come out of this pandemic. 

“One of the positives may be that folks are more comfortable with doing more telecommuting,” said Gardner. “Potentially we may see a trend where people are more able and willing to stay home when there’s a large snow event in the winter. That could in turn impact our snow-clearing operations in a positive way.” 

It should be noted that the values in this document are unadjusted for time of year – they are for information and interest only. Additionally, the speed data that was collected during this period suggested that the prevailing traffic speeds are not substantially different when compared to typical times. 

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