Colonel By Drive Traffic Signs – May Mystery Resolved, Though Not Solved

John Dance

Thanks to the curiosity of OOE resident Justin Tang, a bizarrely conflicting turn restriction sign at the Colonel By Drive and Clegg Street intersection has been removed, but neither the City of Ottawa nor the National Capital Commission has any knowledge of how the erroneous sign got there in the first place.

Back in May, a sign with its base supported by sandbags was placed in front of the traffic signals and attached signs at the northeast corner of Clegg Street and Colonel By Drive. The new sign prohibited all right turns from Clegg to northbound Colonel By at any time. But this new prohibition was much more restrictive than the existing sign on the traffic signal standard, which only prohibited right turns on a red light between 7 am and 7 pm.

Justin Tang’s efforts led to the removal of an erroneous and conflicting new traffic sign at the Clegg Street and Colonel By Drive intersection. The new sign prohibited all right turns from Clegg onto Colonel By.  Photo by Justin Tang

Justin Tang’s efforts led to the removal of an erroneous and conflicting new traffic sign at the Clegg Street and Colonel By Drive intersection. The new sign prohibited all right turns from Clegg onto Colonel By. Photo by Justin Tang

So, after using the intersection a few times and perhaps ignoring the new sign, Tang posted the matter to a community Facebook page. After many residents waded into the matter, Councillor Menard’s office was contacted to get an explanation. Advisor Ariela Summit had the conflicting signs investigated by the traffic management department and the new sign that purported to prohibit all right turns was removed a few days later. But questions remained: why was the sign erected and who put it there?

The Mainstreeter asked the City for an explanation, and the initial response from Media Relations was, “Staff have looked into this and have determined that this road belongs to the NCC and they would be best positioned to answer these questions.”

So, the NCC was contacted, and Corey Larocque, strategic communications advisor, responded, “After verifying internally, I can confirm the NCC did not install the sign in question. Numerous stakeholders have been involved with different repair projects in that area. Although we cannot confirm which one installed it, we believe the sign could have been linked to these projects.”

Armed with this response, The Mainstreeter again asked the city about the sign and Phil Landry, director of traffic services said, “Traffic Services has checked the records for the Colonel By and Clegg intersection and does not have any documentation of installing the signage. This is an NCC property and the City doesn’t install signs on these roads unless requested by the NCC.”

The sign is gone, but the mystery remains.

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