Saturday, 19 July 2008

Traffic in Muskoka

Both lake traffic and vehicle traffic have increased exponentially. Remember to be careful out there!

Drivers seem to forget to use signals, to drive somewhere vaguely near the speed limit, to slow down on curves, and to forecast their next move by slowing down before they turn left across a lane of traffic.
This loon, innocently taking a bath, had to duck as the PWC approaches. The boaters do not faze the ducks, but the loon was splashing and being noisy and it spooked them. The mother ducks and ducklings often go at each other. With lake traffic food sources are iffy. One duckling has a broken leg and we have to let nature take its course.

Many boaters do not know, or remember, the marine speed limits. They are limited to 10 km/hour 30 metres from shore. Our lake, 3 km x 400m wide, seems to be populated by an inordinate number of PWCs zipping back and forth. I realized that when Joe takes out his watercraft, then Judy, Justin and Jane must follow suit. Each zips back and forth, while the loons dive under the water to escape. Then, parents cram a couple of kids on, as well. One in front and one in back. Illegal and dangerous at best.

The towns are busy. Parking is tricky as tourists are in to visit the various shows on this weekend. Bala parking is tricky with the new garden plots. In this early Spring photo you can see the Bala parking problem. The LCBO allowed the Communities in Bloom people to take up parking spaces for some unknown reason.

The Summer Show in Bracebridge had many quality crafts. Beautiful works by many artisans. The Muskoka Wharf is filled with boats, people, and sundry at the In-Water Boat and Cottage Show.

The Muskoka Wharf, which used to be a pretty little bay with the steamships moored, and spectacular view of the wee island, and the surrounding Precambrian shield, is now marred by condos and docks for those who might visit a few weeks of the year. Thankfully, the company that wanted to put in a tourist airline company was turned down. With one small plane on our lake it is noisy enough. I cannot imagine what several would do to the bay as they come into conflict with boaters and the steamships. The heron continues to feed in the bay. Unfazed by tourists gawking.

The downtown businesses are suffering with the amount of traffic and attention focused on the Muskoka Wharf. Parking is tricky, organizers have brought in shuttles for those forced to park well away from the action.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since I hail from the quieter Kawartha area, I was shocked at the amount of traffic and general bustle when I visited Gravenhurst for the On
Water Boat & Cottage Show. What they have done to that pleasant bay is a travesty. Boston Pizza?!! Condos?!!! Surely someone with some architectural savvy could have come up with something more in-keeping with the spectacular surroundings.

Our area around Belmont Lake is not as popular with the in-crowd and I am thankful for that. Our busiest event of the year is the Havelock Country Jamboree - a week long event that attracts thousands of visitors in August. Then it will go quiet again for another year. That's the way I like it.