Have you ever imagined what it must look like throwing a snarling coyote into a henhouse?

Carnage, of course, is the obvious outcome as the teeth-gnashing beast eyeballs its next meal.

In a much more figurative sense, speed limit indicators installed throughout Winchester are now playing the part of the hen, with the driving public in an accompanying role as the villainous coyote.

So, where to go from here?

If there is one thing that can be agreed upon it is that speeding has long been a problem along streets in not only this village, but throughout North Dundas as whole. (It is no doubt the same down the highway in South Dundas, and in towns and villages in neighbouring jurisdictions.)

And this isn’t an age related equation, nor is it a matter of gender. Male and female, young and old, are equally guilty of throwing caution to the wind and blowing well past the posted speed limit.

Position yourself along Main Street East in Winchester and you’ll get the idea. For some, the roadway serves as more of a speedway when exiting the downtown, as pedal meets metal well before in-town residences are in the rear-view.

It’s no different along the west end of Main Street when happy travellers continue their clip along County Road 43 with the same gusto once inside the village limits.

All of this is to say the posted speed signs, those floppy little markers that were drilled into the ground along Main and St. Lawrence Streets, had an intended purpose. (They’re no different than the electronic board purchased by the municipality at the tune of nearly $7,000.)

Were they placed in the right spot? That’s debatable. The St. Lawrence Street posting was meant to draw attention to reducing speed before entering the zone surrounding Winchester Public School.

Surely no negligent driver would like to be responsible for the death of a student simply trying to cross the street. The point? Slow down.

It’s the same on Main Street, where a sign was placed in a congested stretch of businesses and the constant crossing of pedestrians. Sure, those walkers should be using the crosswalk, but they don’t. Drivers should be expected to take note.

Yet, that sign made the appearance of an already narrow street seem much more so. Watching a string of travellers already slaloming past the drainage basins not at grade (hey, United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry, want to do something about that?) grow more tentative at the sign was worrisome.

Planting season is underway by those in our agricultural community, and they no doubt gave the signs a run for their money. But, that was the point. The signs fell down and stood back up again once run over.

Others almost certainly hit them on purpose. The level of vitriol was clear with separate postings on the Winchester Press’ Facebook page garnering tens of thousands of views and hundreds of comments against the signs.

The markers presented a certain level of change, and that’s always been a struggle in this community. Old is best, and new is scary and unwelcome.

So, yes, the signs placement may have been a swing and a miss by the township, but doing something to curb speeding within its village limits should be supported – at least until drivers prove they can comply.

– M.U.