Coun­cil­lors like speed humps in bid to boost traf­fic-calm­ing mea­sures

The Woolwich Observer - - FRONT PAGE - STEVE KANNON

SPEED HUMPS IF NEC­ES­SARY, but not nec­es­sar­ily speed humps.

The ve­hi­cle-slow­ing road­way ad­di­tions were the cen­tre of at­ten­tion this week as Wool­wich coun­cil dis­cussed a new traf­fic­calm­ing re­port.

Coun­cil­lors largely lamented an ap­par­ent lack of progress in ad­dress­ing some con­sis­tent com- plaints about speed­ing and re­lated is­sues on a va­ri­ety of town­ship roads.

Wool­wich has a process, first adopted in 2015, that does ap­pear to re­act slowly fol­low­ing pub­lic com­plaints about safety on a given road. Start­ing with an ex­am­i­na­tion of the street to see if it war­rants a study, the town­ship then moves to traf­fic mon­i­tor­ing: speed

in­for­ma­tion, traf­fic counts and ac­ci­dent data col­lec­tion. If a prob­lem is even­tu­ally iden­ti­fied, there’s then a two-stage re­sponse avail­able.

Stage one in­volves lane nar­row­ing, painted lines, “slow down” signs, the use of the town­ship’s radar speed trailer, and tar­geted po­lice en­force­ment. Stage two would see the use of speed humps, raised cross­walks or ex­tended curbs to nar­row the road­way.

The town­ship uses what it calls the three ‘E’s when dis­cussing traf­fic-calm­ing mea­sures: en­gi­neer­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and en­force­ment. But coun­cil­lors ap­peared to take is­sue with the ef­fec­tive­ness of that ap­proach, par­tic­u­larly the ed­u­ca­tion com­po­nent.

Point­ing to the con­tin­u­ing num­ber of cases of im­paired and dis­tracted driv­ing de­spite a very large pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion bid, Coun. Larry Shantz noted at least one of the E’s might not be work­ing.

“Some­thing’s not work­ing. I’m won­der­ing how we can make these streets safer.”

“We have to find bet­ter ways to ed­u­cate the pub­lic,” agreed Coun. Pa­trick Mer­li­han, who called for an in­crease in the num­ber of traf­fic-calm­ing re­ports and re­sul­tant dis­cus­sion to twice a year in­stead of an­nu­ally.

Coun. Mur­ray Martin sug­gested the town­ship should move more quickly to stage-two mea­sures.

“Speed humps – it’s the only thing that works. If they work in other places, they’ll work here,” he said, point­ing to a va­ri­ety of other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that make ex­ten­sive use of the de­vices.

While cau­tion­ing against the overuse of speed humps, Ken­na­ley said the town­ship is mov­ing in the di­rec­tion of more ac­tion.

“It’s time to step up our game.”

He noted Kitch­ener and Water­loo are look­ing at low­er­ing the stan­dard in-town speed limit to 40 km/h from 50, a move that should boost safety and a pre­cur­sor to new norms in the re­gion.

For Shantz, how­ever, such changes in the town­ship wouldn’t be use­ful with­out reg­u­lar en­force­ment, not­ing speed humps al­ways do the job.

“It’s the per­ma­nency of speed humps. It’s there all the time, 24/7.”

Coun. Scott McMil­lan also sug­gested more on­road mea­sures to slow traf­fic, from painted lines to lane nar­row­ing.

“Re­ally, it comes down to one E, and that’s en­gi­neer­ing,” he said, sug­gest­ing roads should be de­signed to re­duce speed.

For 2019, the town­ship has iden­ti­fied six lo­ca­tions for stage one mea­sures: • Wool­wich Street South (Wool­wich Street North – Schiefele Place) • Ben­jamin Road (Burn­ing Bush Road – Chel­ton­wood Cres­cent) • St. Charles Street East (Notre Dame Av­enue – Pine Creek Road) • Whip­poor­will Drive (Green War­bler Cres­cent – Grey Owl Drive) • Ori­ole Park­way West (Mock­ing­bird Drive – Flamingo Drive) • Crows­foot Road (Sawmill Road – St. Charles Street East)

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