“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?
2111 Road 5 East