NORTH TOLEDO -- Many Point Place residents are driving with extra caution these days. That's because the guard rail that once separated them from the Ottawa River on Shoreland Avenue has been removed.
They want it back and are turning to Problem Solver Mika Highsmith in this Call 11 for Action report.
Point Place resident Wendy Pietrzak says, "It's a beautiful view." If you're willing to swap scenery for safety than Wendy says this is the way to go.
It's the route she travels every day down Shoreland between Suder and Chalmatte right off the Ottawa River. Wendy says, "There was a guardrail and a lot of natural barriers... trees and bushes."
It was all removed so the city could widen the berm between the Ottawa River and the road to make things safer. But construction is finished and they didn't replace any barrier. Wendy believes it made things worse.
One wrong move and a car could land in the river. Wendy says, "If a school bus or something goes over the embankment, someone's going to get hurt." She adds, "It's been a couple months, and from what I hear, they have no plans of replacing it."
Pietrzak's right, according to the city. They put up reflectors in place of the previous barriers, and say the area has been deemed safe. They say there haven't been any problems in the past, but residents fear that without the guardrail things may make a turn for the worse.
Wendy says, "It's very unsafe and irresponsible to put nothing back in there... They need to put something there to protect the people who drive down there everyday."
It's something even the city council woman is concerned about it. She's in negotiation with Streets, Bridges and Harbor and says, if she has to, she will try to put forth legislation to get that guard rail.
Problem Solver Mika Highsmith spoke with a city official. He says they have decided to put in about 50 trees.
They say they reconstructed the embankment and it no longer meets federal guidelines to require a guardrail. Installing one would make it hard to do routine maintenance like mowing the lawn.