North Grenville Council passed a resolution at Committee of the Whole on Tuesday July 9, to move ahead with a speed reduction pilot project in two local neighbourhoods. Council had directed staff in May to assess which communities in the municipality would be ideal for the speed reduction pilot project. Director of Public Works, Karen Dunlop, presented the report to council at Committee of the Whole, stating that they believed the eQuinelle subdivision and the Parkinson Street area would be ideal locations to carry out the pilot project, which will evaluate the use of gateway signage as it relates to posting regulatory speed limits. A sign indicating that drivers are entering a 40km/h zone will be placed at the entrance of the area, as well as another sign indicating that they are leaving the zone. This is to assess whether this method is more effective than simply placing one sign indicating the speed limit in residential neighbourhoods.
The pilot project will see six sets of signs installed in the two neighbourhoods, at a cost of $1,800, which will be covered under the Public Works operational street signage budget item. The program will run for 90 days, and a speed assessment will be conducted in each of the areas identified for the pilot project once per month. Public Works also recommends that, upon completion of the pilot project, a survey be circulated among residents in the participating areas to assist in measuring community support. The speed limits will be enforced by the OPP throughout the pilot project.
Mayor Nancy Peckford wondered at the meeting why the hamlets weren’t considered for the pilot project. Councillor John Barclay, council liaison for Public Works, said that, right now, they are looking for a successful pilot project to encourage adoption in other neighbourhoods in the future. This may include many other residential areas in North Grenville, including the hamlets. “We’re building a case in order to role it out,” he said.
If the pilot project is successful, it may be possible to use the data to convince the United Counties to get involved, which would lessen the number of signs needed, and the financial burden on the municipality. “We’re talking about changing the culture of driving in the urban service area,” Councillor Barclay said.