"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Monday 21 February 2011

An Age Old Lament About Traffic

Good Morning Resident,

I reiterate  my previous response and what I believe is the solution to the problem of speeding on your street.

First let me say, I acknowledge the problem .  Yours is not the only street with the concern.   It is
multiplied many times by amounts of traffic. A long straight road tends to encourage speed because there are no curves or corners to require  a foot on the brake now and then.

In my experience, the only solution  is  enforcement of the urban regulation speed limit. It's the purpose of  a police army at our horrendous cost.

Regulation speed limit in an urban area is 50 kms. Studies have always shown ,people do drive at speed allowed for the area they are passing through. Signs posted at less, are not observed  unless for an obvious reason like a school.

Passing bylaws and posting signs at less than regulation speed limit do not help .They hinder the process. They are a half-assed political solution.

Police are responsible for enforcing. They will not start counting "excessive speed"  from 40kms. They are  responsible for prosecuting charges. So  far as courts are concerned , regulation urban speed is

So, we have a Mexican stand-off.

By doing what residents request and reducing  speed  to 40kms, we frustrate the only method we have for controlling speed . If  drivers are not charged, fines are escaped  but even more significant, so  are de-merit points.

Herein lies  the meat of the matter.  A driver charged with speeding over 40kms ,where  the urban limit is 50Kms has a valid defence. 53 kilometres is not reckless speeding. Except in proximity to a school. A driver does not deserve to lose his licence for driving at  regulation speed.

De-merit points have had to be the most effective tool  ever for controlling driving at speeds in excess of the norm . Nobody can afford to lose a driving licence.

I believe  enforcement is the solution to the problem. A dozen or so tickets issued. periodically, with demerit points to the worst offenders are effective for a while. When the problem starts again enforcement has to begin again and another dozen or thirty  tickets issued.

It is an on-going process and always has been.

I am not in favour of building million dollar roads for smooth and effective movement of traffic and  adding lumps and bumps after the fact to make them difficult  to drive on. That's insane.

It's indicative of the modern concept that no problem exists  that cannot be solved by laws requiring an army of police to enforce.

If the idea of making roads hard to drive is valid. maybe  we should strip the off pavement  and let people skid  about on dirt , around massive pot holes, onto boulevards and across sidewalks. .That would slow them down in a hurry and save us a pile of money on paving roads and hiring police into the bargain.

I say we use  the tried and true method of  controlling speeding drivers by enforcing  regulation urban speed limits on Conover Ave, and give  the process  a chance.

In the past, when we used it on Murray Drive, recipients of  tickets issued were  residents of the neighbourhood. 

"We have seen the enemy and it is us "  Alice's Restaurant.


Elizabeth Bishenden said...

Evelyn, you give us all something to think about. The best part is that you don't mind a bit of discussion.

I don't think it is "insane" to consider adding "lumps and bumps" to some of Aurora's streets.

Look at some of the roads in this town.

Aurora Heights Blvd west of Haida is engineered as if it were carrying traffic that travels at 80km/hour or more. Guess what... it often does. The speed limit might be 50 km/hour, but anyone who has lived in that area can tell you that the speed limit is regularly exceeded. Who cares if it is the local residents or somebody from afar? The situation is still dangerous for pedestrians.

There are streets in our community that have either bad design or a design that is out-dated, and they are dangerous.

What is wrong with acknowledging that both road design and driver patterns are not what was expected when the road was built? What is wrong with making things better than what the builders gave the town?

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Bishenden Said:
There are streets in our community that have either bad design or a design that is out-dated, and they are dangerous.

Well, once council is finished reversing all of the perceived wrongs of the past council, we can get them to re-design those streets for you. After all, we are all about righting the wrongs of the past.

I take Evelyn's comments about the 40kmph signs with a grain of salt. The HTA (Highway Traffic Act) states that urban limits are 50 kmph "Unless signed otherwise". If a street is 40 then that is the speed limit. I think the problem that she is trying to relate is that police tend to start issuing tickets when the speed over is a certain percentage.

The courts do not take the police lead. It is the court that sets law precidence and they enforce the laws of the land.

The problem we have is streets that have been signed as 40 do not get enforcement. I live on a 40kmph street, I regularly see "rice-rockets" on two wheels as they go around the corner past my house. Our "enforcement" is an annual visit of the radar sign for a week. Then the game becomes one of how high we can make the sign read.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 10AM:

This council has done more new business than it has reversing the insanity of the past council. I assume it will take the entire term and even more to finish that job.

Perhaps you would care to elaborate as to the perceived rights of the past council, it should be a short list by comparison.

Your statement "The problem we have is streets that have been signed as 40 do not get enforcement." is absolutely correct, and if I read Evelyn's post correctly that is what she is advocating for. Enforce the speed limits that are in place. Creating obstacles for drivers, deterring traffic from public roads so you can place pedestrians on them is exactly what she said: Insane.

Just as anyone that would believe settling for an tax paid all-or-nothing solution to a problem that does nothing to address driver behavior.

Playing games with electronic display radar signs to see how high you can make them read is grossly childish and a treat to public safety.

All the more reason for the residents to call into the police more frequently for an increase in enforcement.