Council supports speed reduction on three roads

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Clearview council has been tackling a big question – how to solve traffic problems, especially on rural roads?
Council and staff tackled the question during a special traffic meeting on Tuesday, going over some big picture planning strategies for the future and looking at specific roads and solutions that could be included in the next budget.
Transportation engineer Henry Centen, with RJ Burnside, took new traffic and speed counts at 48 locations in 2021 for the updated Transportation Assessment Study. Working with Clearview’s deputy director of public works Dan Perrault, and informed by community feedback through council members, recommendations were tabled for council’s consideration at the Oct. 5 meeting.
Centen outlined his thinking behind making certain recommendations. He said reducing speeds too much on a road that drivers perceive to be safe to travel at higher speeds may cause people to drive at varying speeds thereby causing conflicts, with passing for example. He said consistency is important to the overall functionality of the road network as a whole, otherwise drivers are only pushed to the next road over.
He noted that enforcement is a factor in reducing speed and urged the township to continue to utilize the radar signs, and move them around to new locations.
Mayor Doug Measures noted he has been working wth the OPP to find ways to provide “cost effective services.”
Centen also urged officials to consider multi-modal traffic, including cyclists, pedestrians and ATVs that use the roadway, and the need to consider widening roads and paving shoulders.
“We do have an issue with cyclists in Clearview – love them or hate them – they’re there and they’re going to be here to stay,” said Councillor Doug McKechnie. “What do you think of trying to encourage cyclists to use one road as much as possible?” he asked.
Centen said the scope of the current study hasn’t included cycle counts or consultation with the cycling community, and that there are many considerations for cyclists that choose one road over another.
During the workshop councillors supported:
• Reducing the speed limit on Nottawasaga Concession 10 North (Duntroon) from 80 km/hr to 60 km/hr from County Road 124 to the town limit at Poplar Sideroad.
• Reducing the speed limit on Fairgrounds Road from 80 km/hr to 60 km/hr from County Road 9 to County Road 91, and from the 33/34 Sideroad Nottawasaga to the town limit at Beachwood Road.
• Reducing the speed limit on Riverside Drive/Concession 6 from 80/70 km/hr to 60 km/hr between County Road 9 and 1.1 km north of County Road 91 and from 33/34 Sideroad Nottawasaga to the Collingwood Townline (while maintaining the 50 km/hr zone through Batteaux.)
Council also agreed to other road considerations in 2022:
• prioritizing the following roads in 2022 based on the approved budget for the year, to implement recommendations from the Township’s Transportation Assessment Study:
• Hogback Road (speed reduction)
• Concession 5 Nottawasaga (speed reduction)
• 36/37 Sideroad (speed reduction)
• Lavender Hill Road (speed reduction)
• Klondike Park Road & Concession 12 (intersection review)
• Sunnidale Tosorontio Townline (further road study)
• Warrington Road (further road study); and,
• Collingwoodlands subdivision (all roads) reduced to 40 km/hr
Also approved are plans for additional line painting (yellow centre lines and white edge lines), and the development of a Complete Streets designs and rural road design policies to get ahead of such issues in both urban and rural areas when new road projects are being planned.
“Council’s decision to lower the speed on several of our local roads is in large part a response to an overwhelming call to action by residents to make our roads safer,” said Councillor Thom Paterson. “To those who shared their real life concerns, thank you. I also want to acknowledge the excellent work done by our township staff and expert consultant in preparing recommendations that will result in effective short term traffic calming measures and in longer term road improvements. Many residents identified similar safety concerns on County Road 9. As this road is the responsibility of the County, I will be submitting a report to our council at the Oct. 25 meeting to ask Simcoe County council to lower the posted speed to 60 km/hr from Maple Valley to Cashtown Corners.”

Comparing traffic counts with lockdown

The township retained Ontario Traffic Inc. to undertake updated speed counts between June 11 and June 17 at the locations previously surveyed in 2020.
The updated traffic counts have been reviewed, to confirm if there have been any significant changes to speeds or traffic volumes, compared to the data collected in 2020 (i.e., due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic or construction in the area). For the majority of the roads surveyed, the volume and speed data are comparable between the two counts, however significant fluctuations were noted on the following roads:
• Increase in Average Daily Traffic (ADT) volume of about 400 vpd on Concession 10 and increased directional operating speeds by a maximum of 28 km/hr.
• Increase in directional operating speed by a maximum of 11 km/hr on Riverside Drive and Concession 6. Decrease in ADT of about 350 vpd on Fairgrounds Road and increase of directional operating speed by a maximum of 11 km/hr.
• Increase in ADT of about 400 vpd on Centre Line Road.
• Increase in ADT of about 450 vpd on 3 / 4 Sideroad Sunnidale.
• Decrease in ADT of about 750 vpd on Concession 12.
• Increase in directional operating speed by a maximum of 31 km/hr on 27 / 28 Sideroad.
• Increase in directional operating speed by a maximum of 15 km/hr on Batteaux Road.
– RJ Burnside

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