Oakville not ready to lower sidestreet speed limit to 40 km/h

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Published October 19, 2021 at 6:24 pm

A policy that would have reduced the default speed limit on local and minor residential roads in Oakville from 50km/hr to 40km/h has been parked for now by local council.

While councillors partially passed the Neighbourhood Traffic Safety Program (NTSP) with several changes to it at Town Council on Monday night, they elected to defer the speed reduction and instead opt to gather more data on its efficacy.

The speed limit change was scheduled to take effect in April of 2022.

“There is no question we have a speeding issue,” said Councillor Cathy Duddeck, who led the charge to defer the speed reduction policy.

The Ward 2 councillor though pointed out that the data that several people referenced is not Oakville data. She would like to see more data from a pilot project going on in West River and Heritage Way before making a decision.

“I’m not diminishing the data they are providing, but until such time as we have hard data that we can stand firm and say and point to, I think moving forward until we have that data we’re not really doing the plan any service,” Duddeck said.

“I do think in regards to moving forward with the implementation of this right now it is not warranted until we can prove to the community we have hard data and not just listening to somebody saying this is what’s going on,” she added.

“I’m sorry, that’s my feeling on it.”

Oakville Ward 1 Councillor Sean O’Mara, who originally brought forward the motion up to reduce the speed limit, wasn’t happy with council’s decision to defer the policy.

He, along with fellow Ward 1 Councillor Beth Robertson, were the only ones who voted against the deferment.

“I want to take the mystery away from everyone right now who’s waiting on data, who’s waiting from a silver arrow, who’s waiting for the ‘aha moment,’ it’s not going to come,” O’Meara said.

“I personally have no desire to continue to kick this can down the road in search for an albatros that’s going to land in front of us and say, ‘here you go,'” he added.

Also included in the Town staff’s original plan was the addition of seven mobile photo radar speed cameras at a cost of $585,000.

The recommendation suggested the automated speed enforcement cameras be used, beginning in mid-2022, in Oakville’s 21 designated community safety zones near elementary schools.

The cameras would help generate some $360,000 in revenue.

Council, after a lengthy debate, decided to add seven more speed cameras to the motion bringing the total to 14. Several community safety zones were also added.

“If you’re going to do something this large, blanketed across the community, you need to have sufficient signage, communication, etc.,” Duddeck said.

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