Safe Streets

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.

About jefflehman
Jeff Lehman is the 46th Mayor of the City of Barrie. The Ward 2 Councillor for the City of Barrie from 2006 to 2010, he was the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Council, chaired the City’s Growth Management Working Group, and created the Historic Neighbourhoods project, a new initiative to protect and revitalize Barrie’s oldest neighbourhoods. Jeff has lived in Barrie for most of his life, having grown up in Allandale and attended Barrie Central Collegiate. Jeff holds a B.A. from Queen’s University, and a Master’s Degree with first class honours from the UK’s prestigious London School of Economics. He was hired to teach at the LSE following his graduation, and lived and worked in London for two years as an academic. Since that time, as an economist, he has worked with cities across Canada to manage redevelopment and invest in their urban infrastructure. In 2005, he established the Growing By Degrees Task Force to assist in expanding university education opportunities in Barrie, and has volunteered his time with many organizations in the City. Jeff lives near Downtown Barrie with his wife, Jennifer, a part-time professor of political science, and their young daughter Cassie, who is already smarter than her father.

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