Newly-formed community group concerned about traffic speed, volume on Maltby Road

PUSLINCH – Residents who live on Maltby Road in Puslinch are concerned about both the volume of traffic and the speed of drivers on their hilly, windy, rural road – and they hope that with combined voices, their concerns will be heard by government officials.

About 35 families who live on the road have formed the Maltby Community Association, and they planned to delegate to Puslinch council on July 12.

“Traffic is crazy,” said Robert Vosburgh, spokesperson for the association. 

“It used to be you’d see a car every 15 or 30 minutes. Now there’s a car every five or 10 seconds.”

“It used to be a street where you could walk the dog or ride your bike. That’s when you’d see your neighbours and chat. Nobody is doing that anymore,” agreed Nicole Fitz-Henry. “It’s crushing our social network.”

Maltby Road forms the boundary between Guelph and Puslinch and while it is not a designated truck route, you wouldn’t know that from the traffic, association members said in an interview with the Advertiser on July 6.

Guelph is about to add thousands of homes between Clair and Maltby roads in its Guelph-South Secondary Plan and that will only increase the volume of traffic on all of Puslinch’s roads, the group said.

And the more vehicles on the road, the more there is speeding, they said.

Maltby Road has a 60km/h speed limit, but many vehicles are doing more than 100km/h, said Bill Harrison, whose concern over traffic prompted him to organize a meeting of like-minded neighbours.

“They just fly by,” Harrison said, adding Maltby Road is not a truck route and was not designed or built to handle heavy trucks. 

Clair Road in Guelph and Wellington Road 34 in Puslinch are the east-west arteries designed for trucks; Victoria Road and Gordon Street are the designated north-south arteries as well as the Hanlon Expressway. 

Harrison said he’s worried that drivers will use Maltby and Watson roads to circumvent Guelph when there are holdups on those streets and Maltby and Watson will become a defacto bypass, even though it’s never been Guelph nor Puslinch’s stated plan.

Stop signs were recently installed at Maltby and Victoria Road, and Maltby and Gordon Street and that’s a huge safety improvement.

Maltby will be closed at the Hanlon Expressway when the mid-block interchange near Wellington Road 34 is complete and that will be safer too.

The Maltby Community Association would like speed indicator signs installed along Maltby Road and more speed enforcement by OPP.

And with so much change afoot, they want to be included in any discussion to do with their road in the future.

“We know we have a speeding problem – that’s the now problem. But we’re also looking to the future,” Harrison said.

“We hope that with a united voice, we can get more commitment,” said Vosburgh.

The Maltby Community Association is holding a summer barbecue for Maltby Road residents on July 19 from 5:30 to 8pm – the first since COVID-19.

It is to be a social event and not a meeting about traffic concerns, although who can say where the conversations will go. Residents will receive invitations in their mailboxes.