Report supports traffic calming

If approved by council, traffic-calming measures will be coming to the streets of Barrie.
A motion recommending traffic-calming measures for local and minor collector roads in Barrie was approved by general committee on Monday – the report calls for permanent and temporary measures to calm both the speed and volume of traffic moving on the city’s neighbourhood streets.
Permanent measures would involve the use of textured crosswalks (pavement markings/zebra striping), raised intersections, curb extensions, curb radius reductions, raised median islands, and traffic circles. Temporary measures would be speed cushions (speed bumps), and radar speed advisory boards.
The recommendations follow the completion of a pilot project launched in early 2007 that studied the impact of traffic-calming measures on Barrie streets, which included a speed bump on Eccles Street and parking restrictions elsewhere.
Ward 7 councillor John Brassard, who introduced the motion calling for the pilot project, said results show an average speed reduction of 20 percent in areas with measures in place.
“It’s clear that traffic-calming measures are an effective tool to curb speeding in residential subdivisions,” he told City Scene Barrie.
The introduction of traffic-calming measures will come with a price, if approved, but it will be a worthwhile expenditure, said Brassard.
“It’s enough of a broader community concern that we shouldn’t shy away from the investment to make our residential streets safer.”
According to the report, a textured crossing would cost $1,000-$2,500, a raised intersection $50,000-$75,000, curb extension $10,000-$20,000, curb radius extension $10,000-$20,000, raised medium island $10,000-$30,000, traffic circles $10,000-$30,000.
In preparation of the report, a survey was conducted to seek community input relating to traffic-calming measures. When asked their overall reaction to current traffic-calming measures, 29 percent said “very negative” while 20 percent said “very positive.” When asked if they would like to see more traffic-calming measures, 65 percent said yes while 26 percent said no.
The report identifies a local roadway as “typically characterized as connecting local and collector roadways carrying up to approximately 1,000 vehicles per day. Sidewalks are typically provided on at least one side of the roadway with transit service generally avoided. The typical roadway width for a local road is 8.5 metres.”
A minor collector roadway is “typically characterized as connecting local, collector and arterial roadways carrying up to approximately 5,000 vehicles per day. Sidewalks are typically provided on both sides of the roadway with transit service generally avoided. The typical roadway width for a minor collector road is 11 metres.”
“The bottom line here is if drivers won’t slow down on our streets, then we have to do something to slow them down to avoid the risk of having a child hurt, or worse, killed. The people I represent in Ward 7 are demanding it and I know other councillors are hearing from their residents about it,” said Brassard.
“I know that whatever we do it won’t be enough for some. This was a big issue coming out of the 2006 election, which is why I brought it forward in early 2007, and it was an even bigger one this past election.”

Share

Comments on this entry are closed.