Belleville emergency services urge traffic, safety cooperation in advance of eclipse

The 2017 solar eclipse as seen from Cerulean, Kentucky, USA. Photo by Jongsun Lee.

City staff, along with the Belleville Police Service, Belleville Fire, and Hastings-Quinte EMS, are urging the public’s cooperation during the total solar eclipse on April 8.

In a media release, authorities stress that their focus is on ensuring safety and accessibility throughout the city amidst anticipated increased traffic flow, potentially leading to delays and gridlock.

Maintaining open traffic routes for emergency vehicles is crucial for both safe viewing events and effective emergency response. Residents are advised to view the eclipse from their neighbourhoods to minimize travel and avoid disruptions. Those who must travel are urged to plan ahead and allocate extra time for their journey, refraining from stopping on roadways or parking along streets to observe the eclipse. Instead, designated parking lots or viewing areas are recommended.

Authorities emphasize respect for emergency vehicles, whether parked or in motion with lights on, and remind residents that 911 should only be called for genuine emergencies to keep lines clear for urgent situations.

Police will monitor traffic citywide but will focus on key routes to ensure they remain clear for emergency vehicles, including Bell Blvd, Cannifton Road, Emily St., Bleecker Ave., Dundas St. (East and West), prioritized for access to Belleville General Hospital, and Wallbridge Loyalist Road from Highway 2 to the 401.

Attendees heading to Zwicks Park for eclipse viewing are advised to review the traffic safety plan and adhere to lane restrictions. Entry into Zwicks Park will only be permitted for southbound vehicles on Bay Bridge Road. After the eclipse, vehicles will exit the park via the east side, following a right turn only at the traffic lights.

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