In every part of Barrie, there are local roads where speeding is a problem. I think part of the reason for the problem is how we design streets – extra wide, not a lot of on-street parking, and long distances between intersections. That’s something that needs to change as we design new neighbourhoods, but in the interim, I argued that we need traffic calming to ensure safety in areas of greatest concern. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least a dozen places around Barrie where I heard serious concerns about accidents and near-misses on a local road.
Our arterial roads should be built to move lots of cars quickly; but our local neighbourhood roads are different – as well as being roads, they are often bike paths, ball hockey rinks, and dog walking trails. If it takes an extra few seconds to get somewhere because you have to travel slower on a local road – that’s a small price to pay for safety.
This past week’s General Committee meeting saw City Council pass a new Traffic Calming program and policy, which will see the City retrofit temporary traffic calming measures into ten neighbourhoods around the city, and establishes how and where traffic calming can be retrofit on a permanent basis.
Addressing this issue early in the term was very important to me. It will take time – several years – to roll out traffic calming on local roads throughout the city. But with a policy in place to prioritize where these measures are needed most, now we can start to work on it year by year.