Friday, February 29, 2008

dropping speed

Cootes speed drop having no effect

Drivers continue to ignore the law

Craig Campbell
Published on Feb 29, 2008

Speeding is still a problem on Cootes Drive, according to a study completed by the City of Hamilton.

In fact, lowering the speed limit from 60 km-h to 40 km-h on a section of Cootes surrounding a pedestrian controlled stop light, has had no real effect on the excess rate of speed travelled by drivers.

Hart Solomon, the city's manager of traffic engineering and operations said two studies have shown virtually no change in average speeds since the drop.

And while the McMaster-based Transportation for Liveable Communities isn't in favour of the speed increase being considered by the city, TLC representative Randy Kay said the group could possibly compromise at a rate of 50 km/h, as long as the city implements other traffic calming measures originally recommended in the consultant's report that suggested the pedestrian-controlled crossing.

Not addressed

"We still see speeding as a problem," Mr. Kay said. "The original problem hasn't been addressed."

He said more than just speed limit signs are needed on the stretch of road where a 19-year-old McMaster University student was struck and killed by a vehicle while using the pedestrian controlled crossing two years ago.

A 2004 Synectics Transportation Consultants Inc. report found speeding created a safety problem for pedestrians.

Synectics not only recommended a mid-block pedestrian-controlled traffic light crossing, but also lane narrowing, increased police speed enforcement, changing the roadside environment to discourage speeding, a McMaster student targeted education and enforcement campaign, and prevention of pedestrians crossing Cootes at locations other than the controlled crossing.

"I don't know why the city refused to do that," Mr. Kay said of the other Synetics recommendations. "It's dangerous to put the crossing in without those."

No comments: