by Rachel Everett-Fry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Expect changes to the posted speed limits in rural subdivisions across the Municipality of North Grenville. At the Council meeting of September 21, Council followed recommendations from staff to approve and enact a by-law to designate the speed limit in all rural subdivisions at 40 km/h and erect gateway signage to reflect this speed limit. Gateway signage refers to the practice of utilizing signs at the entrance and exit to an area to define the speed limit within said area.
Director of Public Works, Karen Dunlop, explained that, “Staff have identified 23 rural subdivisions that will be included in the 40km/h gateway speed limit zones in the Municipality. 36 sets of signs will be required for the proposed speed limit changes for the rural subdivisions.” The cost of this program is about $50,000.
Hamlets within the municipality will require further assessment before the gateway program is implemented, so no speed limit changes in those areas will take effect at this time. One of the complications for changing the speed limits in rural hamlets is that many of the roads running through such areas are County Roads. Council will expect a report on this matter by the end of this year.
Mayor Peckford stated that, “no doubt, our efforts in regards to these named subdivisions will beg the question for residents who […] have been waiting for some time, and are very hopeful that they, too, may get a 40 km/h speed reduction.”
Aside from the rural hamlets, one area of such concern is Smith Road in Oxford Station. Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan noted that staff and Council have been receiving a number of messages from concerned residents about speed on Smith Road. Director Dunlop explained that Smith Road has indeed been assessed, but as a separate entity from the hamlet of Oxford Station. Traffic calming measures will take place on Smith Road, though what those might be will be determined and brought back to Council with the report on hamlets.
Keep these speed limit reductions in mind as you travel throughout the municipality, and note that increased OPP presence is likely, as drivers adjust their habits in light of the changes.