Letters

Council Rejects Numerous Requests for Speed Reduction

“It’s not safe to ride my bike or walk.
The cars going by are too fast and scary. They are too close to our house.
It’s not a safe place for pets or kids.
It’s not safe to wait for the bus by myself. Or get the mail across the street.
Please make the cars go slower.”

The above is what a 9-year-old resident of our Road 5 East neighborhood wrote when asked what he wanted to say to Council regarding posting of a speed reduction to 60 km/h.

His statement was read to Council and into the Minutes at the Jan. 9 Council meeting. A meeting where Council did not vote in favour (opposed and rejected) of the recommendation of their Administration, independent Professional Engineering Firm, etc.

Some details to note are as follows:

1.  At the December 12 Council meeting, after careful evaluation, Town Administration recommended the posted speed be reduced to 60 km/h from 80 km/h. Additional efforts supporting this recommendation included: Public consultation, an Engineering report commissioned by the Town supporting specifically the speed reduction to 60 km/h on Road 5 East and more.

Council deferred voting to Jan. 9 Council meeting to get more information which was provided in numerous technical submissions.

2. The Town commissioned a specific Engineering study on Road 5 East by a Professional Traffic Engineer at R.C. Spencer dated Nov. 10, 2022 that recommended a speed reduction to 60 km/h. That study details actual traffic characteristics and includes recognized Engineering standard methodology including a Risk Analysis.

3. A Public Consultation by the Town and attended by Home Owners living on the street supported a speed reduction to 60 km/h.

4. Numerous messages with technical information were provided to Council supporting a speed reduction to 60 km/h and lower. Messages included urban density, road conditions, precedence and most importantly speed reduction on numerous roads in the Municipality of Leamington to 60 km/h.

The speed reduction to 60 km/h between Longlee Lane and County Road 31 would increase travel time by approximately 15 seconds.

5. Road 5 East Home Owners attended two Council meetings and made a presentation summarizing requests for a speed reduction to 60 km/h.

6. Council held a Closed Session (not open to the Public) meeting to get legal advice about the speed reduction.

Council would not make public details of the Closed meeting to inform the public of the legalities of not supporting the recommendations of Administration, their Independent Professional Traffic Engineer, Public Consultation and numerous supporting technical information submitted to Council.

7. A 9-year-old resident captured the issue in one sentence: “Please make the cars go slower”.

8. The cost to help “make the cars go slower” is installation of perhaps six traffic signs displaying the posted maximum speed of 60 km/h and an additional 15 seconds of travel time from Longlee Lane to County Road 31 by a commuter.

After all of the above and more, Council rejected everything in favour of a “Compromise” of 70 km/h with no compelling or supporting information such as Engineering Studies, Speed VS Stopping Distance, opposing arguments, other solutions, etc.

60 k/h is already a compromise as the speed should likely be less when all the information has been evaluated in its entirety including those most affected by the speed, the Home Owners/ Tax Payers and their Families.

Unfortunately, it appears that Road 5 East and likely other similar streets have become perceived short cuts for some transient commuters including shift work, that circumvent highways and enforcement.

There is also likely an increase in passenger and commercial traffic associated with development and growth using the “Back Roads” as a short cut and to avoid effective enforcement.

A review of the Speed Study commissioned by the Town provides a glimpse of the speed characteristics over a few days with the top speed recorded at 142 km/h.

It would have saved the Town a lot of money, time and grief if Council just asked our young Tax Payer of tomorrow what needs to be done.

That nothing of substance or compelling was discussed or debated by Council in the “Public Eye”. That the only communication was in a “Closed Session” and details held in secrecy from the Public is concerning.

This begs the question: Has Town Council “compromised” themselves? What has gone wrong with our newly elected Council?

Bill Bennett 
2111 Road 5 East
Kingsville

5 Comments

  1. It appears we have elected another do nothing council. We have the same issue on our street where 17% are at the max speed or above it. Our street is posted at 50 ks and we have had a rollover accident on it where the car became air born and skidded on its roof for 70 to 80 feet. two cars were demolished. I send an in-depth report from data collected by an OPP hidden electronic speed monitor to the old and new council with only lip service again. There have been 4 incidents on our street that I’m aware of that were the direct result of speed.
    We have several recorded speeds above 70 & 80 ks.
    Go to Wride & King and watch the number of cars that blow the stop sign without slowing down. I watch it every day from my deck.

    It is only a matter of time before we have another fatality like what happened on Heritage road due to excessive speed. That person was in their own yard when the vehicle lost control became air born and struck her.

  2. Avatar Kingsville Resident

    What was most disturbing at the meeting was how the new Mayor was taking instruction from the CAO and didn’t answer the question as to what they were voting on , since it wasn’t clear. The blatant disregard for the delegat who is a tax payer in this community is inexcusable. I certainly hope no one gets hurt….as it will the fault of a weak council. Why the secrecy on such an issue that it needed to he discussed in a closed door meeting. The only issues that should be discussed are HR issues or negotiating issues.

  3. Hard to believe we can’t make better informed decisions! Listen to the citizens that are affected. They have first hand observations. What’s wrong with 60km/hr? Nothing!

  4. Avatar Karen Linsley

    The lack of transparency here is concerning. Why the secrecy? What are they hiding? Is this what we can expect going forward? A council that doesn’t discuss issues in public isn’t working for the public, despite having been elected to do just that. The taxpayers have a right to know the reasoning behind all council decisions.

  5. I would like to support the above submission by Mr. Bennett. Council needs to remember that all politics is local and this local issue, in my opinion, was over thought and studied by too many people
    The town should have listened to the 9 year old and saved thousands of taxpayer dollars and weeks if not months of time and the residents of Road 5 East would feel safer and happier.
    Perhaps if this issue ever gets revisited maybe council needs to listen its electorate and its youth.

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