Leaside calls for higher speed limit
Jon Burnside Ward 26 Councillor
Normally, Leaside residents are concerned with speeding cars and are looking to lower speed limits as one way to address this. However, I’ve recently received requests for an increase in the speed limit on the Bayview Avenue extension.
This past June, 50 km/h speed limit signs replaced the 60 km/h signs on the Bayview extension from Pottery Road to River Street. Why? The previous summer, Toronto City Council approved the 40-page Road Safety Plan with the objective of making our roads safer. The speed limit changes on 54 roads were data driven: roads affected were those where serious pedestrian injuries or fatalities had occurred. This was not the case with the Bayview extension. Although the change was listed in the report’s appendix, city staff briefings on the physical changes to the roadway did not mention a lower speed limit.
Residents are not only concerned that frustrated drivers will try to make up perceived lost time by driving faster through the community, but also that police will divert scarce resources to enforce an unnecessarily low speed limit. Although people don’t want speeding cars on residential streets, arterial roads that are meant for higher speeds — those with no residents, little pedestrian traffic, mostly separated bike lanes and few traffic lights — should have them.
I agreed the lower speed limit change was unwarranted and counterproductive, so I asked Toronto Transportation Services to review the matter. I just received notice that, later this fall, city staff will recommend to council that the speed limit be changed back to 60 km/h.