CENTRE WELLINGTON - Speed limits were racing through the mind of township council members on Monday, as they look to slow down travellers.
Council unanimously endorsed a new speed limit policy and technical approach featuring both short and long-term initiatives.
Adam Gilmore, manager of engineering, alongside Adam Dickinson, engineering technologist, presented the speed policy and technical approach report to council at Monday’s meeting.
Dickinson reported short-term and long-term solutions for the speeding issues the townships is currently facing:
“Short-term solutions are speed advisory bollards, speed display signs, education and outreach. Meanwhile, long-term solutions are realigning streets by lessening curves, and new wider sidewalks,” said Dickinson.
Coun. Bob Foster was in agreement with the proposed solutions but also wanted to know about enforcement strategies such as police officers frequenting the troubled streets of Centre Wellington.
Gilmore replied that they have asked the OPP for partnership with speeding enforcements and if they have the resources to do so, noting that “the OPP is in cooperation with the speed limit policy.”
Discussions on the speeding concerns on rural roads especially around the fact that many sideroads do not have a shoulder to protect pedestrians against traffic were brought up by Coun. Kirk McElwain.
He noted the lack of shoulders doesn't seem to be a criteria listed for lowering speed limits.
To which Dickinson responded there are criteria that are applicable to any roadway and that includes a very narrow gravel road with very little shoulder.
“The dimensions of the entire road we analyze, we look at the road width, the lane width and if there’s a shoulder or not; there’s other things that are looked at in a rural setting as well: looking at other entrances, hills, valleys and other things that affect driving speed,” said Dickinson.
Mayor Kelly Linton, quite unsatisfied with Dickinson’s answer, followed up with a question regarding whether narrow shoulders will be part of the process the team will go through when looking at different road features that may suggest a different speed limit.
“A blanket approach that every roadway that has a certain lane width will have a certain speed is not necessarily the appropriate way to go about it; you have to take a look at the features along the road segment that will impact what is an appropriate speed limit to implement on those roadways,” said Dickinson.
Meanwhile, Coun. Neil Dunsmore brought up the idea of automated speed enforcement as a way to tackle speeding issues.
However, Linton explained automated speed enforcement can only be enforced at designated community and school safety zones.
“The county is taking the first step in looking at how many school zones and community safe zones we have and it needs to be communicated back to the township and only in those areas that we can consider ASC in the future,” said Linton.
Following council’s approved endorsement, staff will continue with the complete assessment of all township roads, with the findings informing the development of a consolidated speed bylaw to be presented to the council in the spring.
Angelica Babiera, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com