Speed only one issue for Harold Street residents

Chris Must


The Town of Smiths Falls is prepared to fund “traffic calming” measures to address the concerns of Harold Street residents who say many drivers are using their street as a high-speed shortcut.

One resident came to a July 24 meeting of council’s Committee of the Whole to present a number of other grievances in addition to the problem of speeding cars.

Ed Lawrence told councillors that heavy traffic volume is having an impact on the quality of the sidewalks and the road itself, which was built in 2005.

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“As a resident, I’m seeing a degradation in the area,” said Lawrence. Because people using the street as a short-cut “don’t care about the neighbourhood,” he added, some drivers have been throwing garbage and cigarette butts out of their cars.

Lawrence also reinforced residents’ concern about speeding on the street, which connects Broadview Avenue to Ferrara Drive. “I’ve seen U.S. plates whipping up and down that street,” he said. “It’s dangerous, and somebody’s going to get hurt.”

Lawrence argued that the street was engineered as a local road, but is being used as a collector road.

Presenting a set of traffic calming recommendations later in the meeting, town Director of Public Works and Utilities Troy Dunlop said the town’s official plan does in fact designate Harold Street as a collector road, and that several other collector roads in Smiths Falls are designed similarly to Harold.

Dunlop reported that $15,000 should be spent to install a number of speed “humps” and signage for all-way stops as measures to reduce the speed of traffic. Such measures, he said, “have performed very well elsewhere.”

These recommendations were developed following an open house on the issue held in April. The open house was attended by 54 people, and 27 written submissions were also received following that meeting.

Dunlop said that although these measures are intended to reduce the speed rather than the volume of cars using the street, a drop in volume could result if Harold Street becomes less attractive as a high-speed shortcut for drivers. If some continue to drive aggressively, he said, residents should record their plate numbers so they can be reported to police.

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