PERTH - Speed bumps are being considered as a traffic calming measure in Glen Tay to address speeding.
In a report by the McIntosh Perry consulting firm, traffic circles were ruled out for the community, but “speed bumps and traverse bars would be the way to go,” said Malcolm Morris, the chief administrative officer for Tay Valley Township during the police services board (PSB) meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
“It (the traverse bars) is visible and audible,” said Morris. “It is meant to be a warning, to say, ‘Hey, something ahead is changing. This is a hamlet.’”
Morris added that such speed bumps would let motorists know that “the high speed arterial they just came off of (Hwy. 7) is changing.”
However, he conceded that when it comes to traverse bars, “winter maintenance can be difficult… on this type of road,” he said. The bars would have to be pre-made and nailed in to the ground, and even that may not prove to be a silver bullet to stop the problem.
“It’s not just purchasing them, it’s installing them, putting up warning signs,” said Morris. “You can’t just surprise them… One speed hump is not a traffic calming measure. It is an annoyance.”
While some traffic would be coming in to the village from Hwy. 7, other traffic would be coming from Perth, or from the west, along Christie Lake Road – an area posted at 80 km/h – which made it somewhat of a unique situation.
“Glen Tay Road is functioning as an arterial road,” said Morris. “It is functioning as a bypass around Perth. That is how the traffic people see it,” which is important to note since, “traffic calming is not done on arterial roads.”
But for people who live in the area, they do not see the road as an arterial.
“This is a hamlet,” said PSB chair Maureen Towaij. “It is a community… It may be used an arterial but at the level of policy, the township needs to think long and hard if it wants to accept this perception. I would hope that the answer is no.”
“It is being used as a bypass,” added Morris of the existing road. “It’s serving several purposes. It is a unique situation.”
Morris said the report called for reconsideration of the speed limits in the hamlet, and that “the speed limit appears to be low when you consider the number of entrances.”
However, it was pointed out that other area hamlets, like Stanleyville, and Maberly village have 40 km/h speed limits.
Tay Valley Township Reeve Keith Kerr reminded the committee of a petition from Glen Tay residents that asked that the speed limit be dropped to 40 km/h. A competing petition called for it to be raised back up to 50 km/h.
“(It) opened us up to liability so we said no,” said Kerr.
“There are areas within there that cannot be travelled at 50 km/h,” said Towaij.
Morris stated the report is not an engineer’s report and that that was an important distinction to make when looking at its findings.
Towaij stated that she has seen evidence to suggest that the hamlet sees about one vehicle every two minutes or so.
“The vast majority of that is going way above the speed limit,” said Towaij. “Short of having constant (police) blitzing, we don’t have the officers to do that. There have been (collisions), thankfully, none with any serious injuries.”
Towaij called for a public consultation on what the next steps should be, but Kerr said residents from all over the township would have to be invited as well, since “everybody pays for it.”
“The people who live there are a little biased,” said Kerr. “Half of them want it, the other half don’t. We say, on average, 60 per cent are speeding… but it is not speeding to the point where it is a hazard. Maybe we could learn to live with it?”
While police “blitzes” are effective, Insp. Gerry Salisbury, detachment commander for the Lanark County OPP, said, “We can’t sit there 24 hours a day.”
Towaij added that, even when there are blitzes, motorists help other motorists out to avoid detection.
“People do flash their lights, they warn others,” said Towaij. “So, classic enforcement does not bring the numbers down.”