Locals foot the bill for GPS-driven through-traffic

 In Letters, Opinion


In a time of growing anxiety about the Omicron variant and intensifying effects of climate change, it feels trivial to bring attention to something as apparently mundane as road speed, but it is of course neither trivial nor mundane to the people whose lives are impacted by its effects.

After reading various letters opposing the reduction of speed limits (Van Staveren Dec. 17, Miller Dec. 10) I feel compelled to respond after I, and 112 10th Concession neighbours, signed a letter to Clearview council supporting staff and consultant’srecommendation for a speed reduction to 60 km/ hr on our road, appear to have been disparaged as a “special interest group.” It would be correct to call us that if the term is read literally, that is, we as residents, businesses and neighbours of the 10th do have a special interest ensuring this road be retained as a local road, and not be utilized as an arterial road for drivers seeking the quickest route to Blue.

Last year my family delivered a brief letter to every single residence and business along the 10th from 124 to Sixth Street, as well a few to the west likely noticing the 10th’s increasing volume of traffic, and related issues of speeding and accidents. Our letter noted our observations of unusually high volumes of traffic (even worryingly growing numbers of semis), and our studies of GPS routing that typically promoted this rural road as the fastest route to Blue

Let me make my home,

your home!

Mountain, rather than more suitable arterial roads and highways (including the 400!) The response from residents and business owners (three of which employ upwards of 100 staff) was overwhelmingly in favour of asking our township to address these problems with the 10th, both for safety reasons and for quality of life.

Mr. Van Staveren and Mr. Miller appear to imply the township’s process and decisions have been rushed, improper, and without opportunity for public input. For the record (and it is in the township’s records), it should be noted that we have been sharing our observations and concerns with Clearview staff and council since 2014 and the actions taken by the township since that time have been noted both in township documentation as well in our excellent local newspapers. It should also be noted in response to our neighbourhood letter there was not a single reply requesting the retention of the status quo.

Following a thorough professional process, council requested a traffic management study to provide them with the necessary data and information needed before determining appropriate solutions for residents’ concerns. The traffic calming policy Mr. Miller alludes to not being followed was determined by council in 2020 to cover settlement (residential) areas only, and therefore was not applicable to the rural roads under consideration. The resultant traffic assessment study undertaken by Burnside Engineering at the behest of

Clearview council proposed a reduction of the speed limit on our road to address the problems we residents and business owners were observing.

Mr. Miller notes that “we are in dire need… to how we are going to fund the necessary road repairs in our municipality.”

I would like to underscore the true financial implications of Mr. Miller’s concern over “unnecessary spending” on speed reduction signs. Continuing higher speed limits may mean less drive time for employees, but it will be at the expense of Clearview Township taxpayers, who will be on the hook not just for the wear and tear of these drivers using local roads, but more to the bigger point – the elephant in the room – the resultant (and reinforcing) growth of GPS-driven through traffic that it encourages. That is, unless this problem is remedied, local tax dollars will be drained to maintain local roads subject to heavy out-of-area traffic that should be using appropriately engineered, regionally and provincially funded arterial roads.

Council voted on Oct. 5 to approve the Burnside and staff recommendation to lower the speed limit on the 10th. Funding this is all that remains. As G. Tardif noted (Dec. 10) in their excellent letter, the $50,000 amount is “a very affordable solution to make ourroads safer.”

Suzanne Wesetvik, Duntroon.

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