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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Highway 3 protest held to get province’s attention

by Sylene Argent

On Saturday morning, two groups of protesters gathered – one at the in Leamington and the other at the Canadian Tire in Essex – to travel down Highway 3 to raise awareness of the need to widen the stretch of the main arterial roadway from two lanes to four from Essex to Leamington.

  In late August, Caroline Mulroney, the MPP of York-Simcoe who is currently serving as the Ontario Minister of Transportation, announced construction to widen Highway # 3 will begin in 2021.

  The project was said to entail the widening of the current two lanes to four lanes from Road 34 to Essex, in addition to the repaving of the portion of the remaining stretch to Leamington’s Highway 77.

  Kingsville’s Greg Knight, one of the organizers of the protest, does not have a lot of faith in the announcement the provincial government made. He said it was ironic that the announcement came shortly after the planning of the protest was underway.

  His brother, Tyler Knight, passed away after a fatal collision on Highway 3 in early June. Knight described his brothers as an individual who loved life and an individual who loved being there for others.

  “He battled cancer nine-years ago. He survived. He really enjoyed life. He really enjoyed helping people. He would work on a bike, weld, or work on a car [for someone in need of help]. As you can see, he touched a lot of lives,” he said motioning to the many who showed up to the Essex gather point.

  Knight described his brother’s accident as “heart wrenching.” He said the accident made him think of first responders and what they go through in assisting such incidents. He hoped the protest would help prevent accidents from occurring so other families would not have to go through what his did.

   Knight noted what was most desired as the best outcome of the protest was to encourage the provincial government to follow through on the promise it made last month. They also wanted to let people in Essex County know just how dangerous the highway is.

  He said the protest would be conducted as safely as possible.

  With giving one’s self more time to get from point A to point B, accidents, like the one that claimed the life of his brother, may not occur, he added.

  With working in Windsor and living in Kingsville, Knight travels Highway 3 often. Just a day before the protest, he claimed he had to nearly pull over three times because others tried to pass him unsafely.

  “I see so much of that,” he said.

  At the Essex gather-point alone, Knight was pleased to see nearly around 100 people participate in the protest – utilizing around 40 bikes and 20 vehicles. He said the idea was to have those who gathered at both points meet at his brother’s memorial after the protest.

  Jim Root, the OPP Constable in charge of media relations, noted officers were onsite to monitor the protest to ensure everyone’s safety. He hoped the event would go smoothly and that the group accomplishes what they set out to do, while laws were abided by and public was kept safe.      

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