The Premier of Ontario has declared a province-wide state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order in response to rising COVID-19 variant infection rates.
Traffic calming is a measure available to the town that can be used to mitigate speeding in instances where higher speeds have been observed and conventional methods of speed deterrence, such as enforcement and education, have not been effective. Some examples of include radar speed display signs, speed cushions and roundabouts.
If you live in the West River area, we’d like to hear from you. Visit our Safety and Traffic page for a link to the survey.
To initiate a traffic calming process a candidate location must satisfy either a Speed Warrant or Traffic Volume Warrant. The Speed Warrant is obtained following a 48-hour speed survey conducted either in the spring or fall. Streets showing operating speeds or traffic volumes in excess of the warrant threshold will subsequently be surveyed over a seven-day period to confirm the results.
Speed Warrant requires 15 per cent of motorists to be driving at a speed greater than:
If the Speed Warrant is met on a street classified as a local or minor collector street, the physical traffic calming will be initiated. If a street is classified as a major collector or minor arterial roadway, it will be placed on the list to receive a radar speed display sign (RSDS).
A Traffic Volume Warrant requires the average daily traffic volumes on a roadway to be in excess of the typical maximum volume for the local and minor collector road classification.
The Highway Traffic Act allows municipalities to establish a higher or lower speed limit in certain areas, rather than rely on the current default traffic speed limit of 50km/hour. In December 2019, Council approved new 40 km/hour speed zones on roads fronting active parks where there's higher pedestrian traffic and children at play.
Beginning summer 2020, new 40 km/hour speed limit signs will be posted on roads fronting these parks:
In May 2018, the town initiated a study on potential traffic calming options for school zones on major collector and minor arterial roadways. The study identifies short-term and long-term measures for these sites. The recommended short-term measure is to implement fixed (permanent) radar speed display signs (RSDS) at the following 20 locations in 2020.
The project is also developing long-term physical traffic calming recommendations specific to each school location. Additional public consultation and outreach will be conducted prior to finalizing the recommendations.
Information about the Traffic Calming Process Update and Speed Limit Review can be found on the June 17, 2019, Community Services Committee agenda.
Recent legislation in the Highway Traffic Act to allows municipalities to designate an area with a lower than 50 km/hour speed limit. The lower speed limit would apply to all roads within the designated area. Signs indicating the lower speed limit would be posted at the entrances and exits of the designated area only, as opposed to individual streets.
Earlier in 2019, Town Council directed staff to consult with the West River Residents Association in the development of a pilot project to test a 40 km/hour speed limit within the West River area. At the October 22 Council meeting, Council approved a second pilot project within the Heritage Way area.
The existing posted 50 km/hour speed limits signs will be removed from all streets within these two study areas. Maximum 40 km/hour Area Begins signs will be posted at all entrances to the area and Maximum 40 km/hour Area Ends signs will be posted at all exists.
Due to the current pandemic, speed surveys have been postponed until fall 2020. Staff will report back to Council with the study results in the first quarter of 2021.