SCUGOG: After hearing concerns from residents, Scugog council has decided to lower the speed limit on Williams Point Rd. from 40 km per hour to 30 km per hour.
At a meeting on Monday, December 18th, Councillors saw a report from Engineering Technician Lori Fox, which recommended the speed limit on Williams Point Rd. remain at 40 km per hour, to have Township staff install additional safety signs where necessary, as well as work with the Williams Point Cottagers Association to recommend temporary safety measures for community events.
Tom Phipps, from the Williams Point Cottagers Association, made a deputation to council, on October 23rd, asking council to lower the speed limit, on Williams Point Rd. and Jack Rabbit Run, to 25 km per hour.
“These roads were originally constructed to serve a cottage community, and it would appear that cottage setback requirements were very much less than they are today. As a result, many homes are very close to the road and vehicles, operating at or above the current speed limit, would have very limited time to respond to any children [coming onto the road,]” Mr. Phipps said. He later added that “something must be done before we face a tragedy.”
At that meeting, council voted to have staff look into the request.
However, Ms. Fox, in her report, recommended against lowering the speed limit.
According to the report, following the request from Mr. Phipps, Township staff visited the area and also used traffic management software to analyze and determine what the speed limit should be on that road.
“The result of the recent study was that the appropriate speed limit for Williams Point Rd. should be 50 km per hour,” the report read.
The report went on to state that staff contacted Durham Police for advice on the matter, and were told “reducing a speed limit in a built up area, to a speed significantly lower than the conditions warrant, causes more congestion and potential safety issues with the large variance in speeds.”
However, Ward 4 Councillor Wilma Wotten said she would like to see the road’s speed limit changed to 30 km per hour.
“I think it’s proactive. The [speed limit] is already 40, but there is consideration of putting new signage up, possibly in certain areas on the bends, I think there is reference to 25 [km per hour] on the bends. If we are going to go to that effort, and with respect to the number of people that signed the petition from the Williams Point area, to me it would make sense that the entire road could be considered a 30,” she said.
Ward 5 Councillor Jennifer Back agreed with Councillor Wotten, stating the importance of responding to residents’ concerns.
“We have residents asking out of deep concern, and I think that has merit for us to listen to,” she said.
Along with having staff install additional safety signs where necessary, as well as work with the Williams Point Cottagers Association, to recommend temporary safety measures for community events, council decided to reduce the speed limit to 30 km per hour.