In an effort to improve road and pedestrian safety, Carleton Place town staff will be gathering data on speeding on local streets, largely in response to a number of concerns recently raised about specific thoroughfares and intersections.
High speeds on Mississippi Road, the Bridge Street/Prime Street/Thomas Street area, Industrial Avenue, and Morris Street prompted director of public works Dave Young to raise the issue at the Sept.5 meeting of the physical environment committee.
In addition to concerns about in-town traffic, Mayor Louis Antonakos reminded councillors of recent fatal accidents on Highway 7 to the west of town as well. Young noted that discussions with the provincial ministry of transportation have led to the imminent hiring of a consultant who will explore traffic patterns on the provincial highway between McNeely Street and Highway 15. That study will examine issues of safety, entrances, service roads, and active transportation, all within a broader context of the town’s rapid growth and an anticipated increase in the number of vehicles using the roadways.
Councillor Sean Redmond noted that some areas of Ottawa have reduced the speed limit to 30 kilometres on residential streets, and asked whether reduced speed limits in the town could slow the general flow of traffic in Carleton Place as well. “If it’s posted at 50, people go 60, and if it’s 40, people go 50,” Redmond said.
Young replied that the default speed limit in urban areas is 50 kilometres, and while municipalities have the power to lower those rates, it would require a significant investment in signage, given that the speed limit would have to be posted anew with each street that intersects a main road.
Going forward, staff expect to meet with Carleton Place OPP to share data, coordinate efforts, and share concerns, with a report expected back at the committee later this year.