Traffic Safety and Traffic Calming
A presentation on Traffic Safety and Traffic Calming was made at the Monday, July 10 council meeting. Presenting were Emma Vanier, Manager of Infrastructure; Michael Fawthrop, General Manager of Infrastructure and Municipal Works; and Deputy Police Chief Vincent Foy.
Current traffic safety and calming initiatives in the City of Cornwall involve a combination of education, engineering, and enforcement.
Measures such as Vertical Centreline Treatments, Speed Display Devices, and lane narrowing are a few ways that the city is currently working to reduce speeding. These measures have proven to be cost effective as well as effective in reducing speeding in problem areas.
Other programs, such as red-light cameras and school bus cameras have been considered by the Department of Infrastructure, but they cost more to operate and maintain. They are usually used in more populated cities where there are a higher number of fatal collisions and the revenue generated from infractions self-funds these programs.
Deputy Chief Foy explained CPS’s role in traffic safety and calming initiatives, including a traffic unit with officers trained in traffic reconstruction, general traffic enforcement, and speed enforcement, as well as breath testing and drug recognition. CPS also plays a role in education by promoting different traffic safety-related themes on social media each month.
The deputy chief shared that with increased police absence due to PTSD and occupational injuries as well as increasing call volumes, there is not always a lot of time for proactive enforcement. This is common across CPS, OPP, and other police departments. However, Foy said that police enforcement is a temporary measure that does not have a long-term effect on traffic calming.
After the presentation, council voted to approve all recommendations outlined in the report:
- That administration includes a City-Wide Traffic Calming Master Plan in the 2024 Capital Budget
- The 2024 Operating Budget include $50,000 to expand existing traffic calming initiatives.
- Administration launches an online Traffic Complaint Tracking Portal where residents can anonymously submit complaints to be addressed, responded to, and collect data on problem areas.
- That Administration continue to implement and invest in the Active Transportation Master Plan (sidewalks, recreational paths, bicycle lanes, etc.).
- That the Cornwall Police Service (CPS) increase efficient targeted enforcement, through increased collaboration with the City’s Transportation Department.
Noted during the presentation were the intersections with the most collisions in town. The highest was Brookdale and Ninth, followed by Brookdale and Water, Cumberland and Fourth, Ninth and Sydney, and Powerdam and Vincent Massey. The Department of Infrastructure and Municipal Works shared that there are plans to update Brookdale Avenue to make it safer for both vehicles and pedestrians in the near future.
City Council proclaimed July 11th as Catholic Women’s League Day in honour of Cornwall hosting the 76th annual Catholic Women’s League Provincial Convention from July 8th to 12th at the Cornwall Civic Complex
The week of July 16 to 22, 2023 was proclaimed as National Drowning Prevention Week to promote Cornwall as a Water Smart Community and highlight the need for education and respect around water to avoid preventable drownings.
A request submitted by Kelly Bergeron and Erin Fry to proclaim July 23, 2023, as Ryan Gosling Day in the City of Cornwall to celebrate the opening weekend of the new Barbie movie was deferred by council. After discussion it was concluded further planning should be done and an attempt be made to reach Gosling before dedicating a day in his honour.
Queen Street Sidewalk Update
A group of Riverdale residents were present at this week’s meeting to find out the result of their petition against putting a sidewalk on Queen Street. The petition was created in response to a city survey put out recently to gauge the need for a sidewalk on Queen Street. Out of 260 survey respondents, the majority were in favour of the sidewalk. The petition had a little over 100 signatures.
Some concerns brought forward by council during the discussion included the possibility significant mature trees being removed during construction and the fact that there is an existing (although incomplete) sidewalk on one side of Queen Street, but no sidewalks connecting the north and south of Riverdale heading towards Viscount School.
Councillor Dean Hollingsworth passionately restated his belief that while all of these concerns are valid, pedestrian safety should come first and every street in town should have sidewalks on both sides.
“It was identified in our master plan for both sides of the street due to it being a collector and due to the traffic volumes in that area and due to schools and parks in the area,” clarified Fawthrop, “The intent of the survey … is not really looking for commentary on which side of the street the sidewalks should go on. That really needs to be evaluated during the design process.”
Administration stressed that there will be more time for public input before the city moves forward with sidewalk construction on Queen Street.