Region hopes painted chevrons will curb speeders on River Street

The Durham Region Work Department has agreed to a portion of Brock Township’s request to address speeding on Sunderland’s main street.

Back in October, members of council voted to once again forward their concerns about speeding to the Region, requesting that painted chevrons be added to the roadway – on both the east and west sides of the downtown core – as well as install oversized speed limit signs.

The Region’s response has been received and may only be viewed as a partial victory for the Township.

“We acknowledge that operating speeds on River Street are high in the transition and gateway areas approaching the town and have made attempts in the past to adjust driver behavior through targeted enforcement programs with Durham Regional Police Services. These have been successful but difficult to maintain on a consistent basis. Therefore, we support your request to install transverse pavement markings or otherwise known as ‘Dragon’s Teeth’ as another means to mitigate speeds,” reads the  letter from Ramesh Jagannathan, Durham’s director of transportation and field services.

However, the markings will only be painted on the east side of the downtown.

“We recommend installing the dragon’s teeth marking in the eastbound direction on River Street just before the 50 km/h speed zone starts at the Sunderland Depot. In the westbound direction, west of Highway 12, we do not recommend installing the dragon’s teeth marking given that the road characteristics and speeds would not benefit from this type of improvement,” the letter continues.

The Township’s request to have oversized speed limit signs installed on River Street was also denied by the Region.

“The Region does not support the request to install oversized speed limit signs on River Street as we do not believe this recommendation would be effective in reducing operating speeds. The requested oversized speed limit signs are prescribed in the Ontario Traffic Manual based on road classification with all speed limit signs installed on all Regional Roads being the smaller 60cm x 90cm format. Highway sized signs are not justified based on the current road classification, speeds and engineering judgement,” the letter reads.

“As you are aware, it is very difficult to alter driver behavior and specifically influence a driver’s choice of operating speed. The Works Department will undertake the line marking improvements in Spring 2018 and continue to monitor operating conditions to assess if additional remedial measures are required.”

The letter is on the agenda for next week’s council meeting and will likely be discussed during the March 12 meeting of Brock’s works committee.