Slow down and 'Ride the Wave'
Dec 4, 2012 / 10:45 am
The average speed along a crash-heavy stretch of Springfield Road is close to 70km/h.
City transportation officials hope new initiatives being instituted this week will help bring down those speeds and reduce crashes - some on City Council aren't so sure.
In 2007, the average speed along a stretch of Springfield between Ziprick and Hollywood road was 70.8km/h eastbound and 71km/h westbound.
"In 2012, we have been collecting data and the speeds have been reduced by about 3km/h. Effectiveness is limited," Traffic Operations Supervisor, Fred Wollin told council Monday.
"We've worked with our transportation safety technical committee over the past year and a half to come up with measures to try to slow the speed which is a challenge in the city."
Wollin says a 3E approach (Engineering, Education and Enforcement) is being instituted in hopes of slowing down traffic and reducing crashes which have increased by about 15 per cent despite engineering work at several Springfield Road intersections over the past few years.
New initiatives set to be introduced Wednesday include pavement markings reminding motorists of the 50km/h speed limit, speed reader boards and a 'Green Wave' system designed to make it easier for motorists doing the speed limit to hit green lights between Ziprick and Hollywood.
Councillor Andre Blanleil questioned why Springfield Road was worse than other similar roadways in the city.
"How can this be different than other roads? What is so different about it?," questioned Blanleil.
Wollin stated the stretch of Springfield is unique in the fact that driveways dot the entire stretch from Ziprick to Hollywood.
"The road is surprising and with all the driveways, it doesn't help," added Wollin.
"The tendency on this roadway seems to be to get from point A to point B quicker than others."
Blanleil was also skeptical on the effectiveness of the Green Wave concept.
Councillor Colin Basran also voiced his concerns about the new technology.
I'm not convinced this is going to affect driver behaviour long term. We could have police officers out there for a week and people would eventually slow down but as soon as the officers leave the speeds will go back up," says Basran.
"I think the same thing will happen here. Once the signs go up people will slow down for a short time but as soon as they get used to them they are going to speed right back up."
Other councillors were willing to give the new ideas a try.
"I think it will get people's attention. I don't agree people will completely ignore it," says Councillor Luke Stack.
"If you see flashing red lights saying slow down I think people will pay attention to it."
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