Lea­side calls for higher speed limit

Jon Burn­side Ward 26 Coun­cil­lor

North Toronto Post - - News -

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.

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