The Region has approved Brock Township’s request to have a Community Safety Zone established on a stretch of Simcoe Street in Beaverton.
A letter from the Region, which is included on the agenda for Monday’s (June 17) meeting of the public works and facilities committee, notes that the measure will be implemented this fall.
“The Region recognizes the benefit of implementing Community Safety Zone on Simcoe Street from the Holy Family Catholic School to Mara Road. The Community Safety Zone will be implemented as part of the Regional bylaw amendment in the fall,” the letter reads.
“In addition, we have reconsidered our previous position on speed limit reductions and are proposing to reduce the posted speed limit (from 70 km/hr to 60 km/hr) on Simcoe Street between Thorah Concession Road 5 and the start of the existing 50 km/hr zone to the west.”
Back in February, council passed a motion calling for the posted speed limit be dropped to 40-km/h from Holy Family Catholic School through the downtown core to Mara Road.
A response letter was received the following month and noted that the Region investigated the area for traffic volumes. collision history, signage and conducted radar speed studies before opting against the request.
According to the letter, approximately 6,000 vehicles travel along Regional Road 15 each day.
“A search of the Durham Regional Police Services’ records indicates there have been 4 collisions through the subject corridor (from Holy Catholic Family School to Mara Road) over the past three years. This represents an above average safety performance record and is characteristic of other similar road sections throughout the Region,” the letter reads.
“A review of the signs posted through that stretch noted that all signs are posted with acceptable spacing and in good order, except for the ‘School Area’ sign on the westbound approach, which will be moved closer to the school in accordance with the Ontario Traffic Manual.”
A radar study was conducted on Feb. 19, which found an average vehicle speed of 60-km/h, which has prompted the Region to request increased police enforcement.
“(The) DRPS have been notified and requested to provide selective enforcement along that stretch…There is a fundamental principle in traffic engineering practice. which emphasizes that if drivers do not perceive particular speed limits as being appropriate, the limits will be disregarded and ineffective,” the letter reads.
“Under existing conditions, it would be difficult – if not impossible – to achieve compliance with a 40-km/h speed limit without an extraordinary level of police enforcement. With limited resources, it is unrealistic to expect police to provide the level of enforcement to accommodate for an artificially lowered speed limit that will not be adhered to by most reasonable drivers.”
Given the Region’s response, Ward 2 Councillor Claire Doble brought forth a motion calling for a Community Safety Zone to be established.