I want to pass my enthusiastic congratulations to the Hintonburg Community Association on the near-completion of its 40 km/h initiative. Its press release is copied below. In summary, its volunteers have achieved the required 66% concurrence from residents on every street to reduce the speed limit to 40 km/h. All that remains, we're told, is to put up the signs.
This is an opportune time to note that the HCA shouldn't have had to do this. They've made a back-of-the-envelope guess that going door-to-door and adhering to the administrative process for accomplishing this was likely around 1,700 hours of work. There's no reason to doubt that this is in the right ballpark. I'm very thankful they were willing to put so much time into this, but that's a huge opportunity cost to other potential initiatives.
This morning, Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that the provincial government will introduce legislation to allow cities to use speed cameras and reduce speed limits in school zones. Councillors Catherine McKenney (Somerset) and Jeff Leiper (Kitchissippi) applaud this intiative, which reflects a longstanding desire on the part of residents of both wards for safer streets.
At the Transportation Committee of City Council in May, both McKenney and Leiper appealed to colleagues to support safety cameras as an important tool in reducing speed in the vicinity of schools and in residential neighbourhoods. Intensification and increasing congestion are leading to more aggressive driving, and automated tools combined with lower speed limits will help address this problem.
Last Tuesday night, residents, the Champlain Park Community Association and I met at the field house to discuss the potential to close the stretch of Pontiac between Cowley and Carleton. It was a very well-attended meeting with dozens of residents, and I appreciated the respectful and productive discussion. I’ll take this opportunity to provide an update on what I’m thinking, and some follow-up steps I’ve taken.
I’m continuing to receive emails, supportive and not, about the proposal. Opinion is split on the advisability of proceeding. I’m getting a sense now that there is fairly broad support for joining the City park to the NCC park by extending the greenspace contiguously from the field house to the Parkway. It’s a lot of real estate that could eventually be de-paved, providing more room for play, exploration of the scrub and forest, room for gardens and planting, and uninterrupted access to the park from the winter and summer paths. While still paved, it could be a very attractive place to play road hockey and basketball, learn to bike, and more.
In months past, I've asked for your help to analyze what's happening at the corners of Harmer/Wellington and Island Park/Byron, which have been highlighted to me as problematic. Another corner about which I frequently hear is West Wellington and Rosemount/Carruthers - an odd dog-leg of an intersection. I filmed it from roughly 3:05 (Connaught bell) to 4:30 on a weekday afternoon.
The previous two rounds were very interesting to our traffic staff, and I've been encouraged to continue with it. The only substantial difference this time is that staff have indicated they don't need the counts - those are easily enough obtained by other means. But, the in-depth look at problems is something they're interested in. Help us out!