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New speed limits in the works for Bracebridge
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New speed limits in the works for Bracebridge

Posted: 2024-07-03 13:50:46 By: thebay

Bracebridge General Committee approved the recommendations for changes to the Town’s speed limits, in the July 2, 2024, meeting.

Staff recommended revisions to the previous default speed limit of 50km/hour, including a further reduction for some roads.

Upon Council’s request last fall, staff conducted a road analysis to determine appropriate speeds in given areas, which involved gathering information such as road length, traffic volume, curvature, surface, and location. This analysis determined the need for changes in speed limit in specific areas.

According to the staff report, some of the changes to rural roads include 60km/hr reduction to 50km/hr on roads such as Campbell’s Road, South Monck Drive, Fraserburg Road (MR14), Manitoba Street (MR4), and more.

Other rural changes include a reduction from 60km/hr to 40km/hr, including Cedar Beach Road, Church Hill Road, Hawn Road, Muskoka Road 118 West, Uffington Road (MR20), Highway 118 East, Golden Beach Road (MR15), and Peterson Road.

The report adds that 116 rural roads will be impacted by reductions from 50km/hr to 40km/hr.

164 urban roads will be reduced from 50km/hr to 40km/hr. “These comprise all the roads in the urban core,” indicates the report.

The Ann Street railway crossing will be reduced from 50km/hr to 30km/hr to prevent a need for “a costly advanced railway crossing signal warning system,” adds the report.

The report indicates, “One of the primary considerations in the design of a road is providing safe stopping sight distances where vehicle conflicts could occur. As vehicles travelling at lower speeds require less distance to come to a full stop, speed reductions result in a shorter stopping sight distances in areas of potential vehicle conflicts.”

Councillor, Don Smith, inquired about whether signage will be provided for roads with new reduced speed limits. He expressed concerns about currently driving with no signage in some areas of Town. “They are not necessarily all well marked,” he said.

He also inquired about the costs for the 320 new signs that will have to be installed from the change.

Staff advised that they don’t have an established cost, however, they estimate it will range from $50,000 to $100,000, depending on whether the work is done in-house or tendered.

Committee inquired about enforcement measures given complaints they receive about speeding issues in specific areas.

Director of Public Works, Geoff Carleton, advised that the Town will be recommending an auto speed enforcement program in the Public Works Business Plan to Council in 2025 to for schools and safety zones, such as high public areas like the Sportsplex.

He indicated that the data for other high-risk areas will be used, “not observation” or complaints.

He said, “Most of the time people are not speeding as much as residents think.” He advised that issues occur from detours which increase traffic in a given area, and majority of drivers are abiding by speed limits.

He added, “The data tells me there’s not a speeding issue… We have a driving population that obeys the speed limit.”

Enforcement will include ongoing sharing of information with the OPP specific to problem locations, days and times, so resources can be utilized efficiently.

In addition to the installation of 320 new signs, 75 existing signs will be removed in the urban and rural areas, and the costs will be included in the Draft 2025 Municipal Budget and Business Plan.