September 21, 2020 5:20am
Driving through several school zones across Chatham-Kent could be getting a little bit slower in the near future.
On Monday, council will vote on implementing reduced speed zones at over a dozen schools in several communities across the municipality.
According to a staff report, the schools up for reduced speed limit approval include:
- Blenheim District High School
- Harwich Raleigh Public School
- St. Anne’s Catholic School
- Croton Christian School
- Chatham-Kent Secondary School
- Georges P. Vanier Catholic School
- Ursuline College Catholic Secondary School
- St. Angela Merici Catholic School
- St. Ursula Catholic School
- Tecumseh School
- Dresden Private Mennonite School
- Dresden Area Central School
- Lambton-Kent Composite School
- Old Colony Christian Academy
- Tilbury District High School
- Edward International Academy
- Wheatley Area Public School
All urban roadways listed will have 40 kilometre per hour speed limit zones implemented at all times, except for Grand Avenue West at Ursuline College Catholic Secondary School.
Due to the volume of traffic on Grand Avenue West, staff is recommending that a variable school zone maximum speed be implemented on the roadway instead. Subject to capital budget funding approval, an electronically timed beacon system would be installed to indicate the days and times that the 40 kilometres per hour speed limit is in effect.
For each rural roadway, staff is recommending that a 60 kilometre per hour speed limit zone be implemented, as per provincial recommendations.
“This recommendation generally follows Ontario Traffic Manual guidelines for the installation of school zone speed limits, which includes limiting the speed limit reduction to no less than 40 kilometres per hour on roadways with speed limits of 60 kilometres per hour or less and 60 kilometres per hour on roadways with speed limits of 80 kilometres an hour or less,” stated the staff report. “The schools located in Camden, Chatham Township, and Romney are adjacent to rural roadways.”
The reduced speed zones will extend 150 metres beyond the school property limits in each direction on the adjacent roadway. The reduced speed zones will also be accompanied by community safety zones, which will extend up to 100 metres further beyond the reduced speed limit zones.
The introduction of the safety zones was originally approved by council in January 2018. Phase 1 included implementing 15 school zones in the municipality, while 16 schools were selected for Phase 2. Preference was given to elementary schools that were determined to be located in higher traffic areas. Phase 3 will complete the remaining school locations.
Approximately 270 new sign installations, and further sign adjustments, will be required to officially implement Phase 3 of the school zone speed limits and community safety zones. According to the staff report, the estimated cost to supply and install the signs is $67,500, which will be funded through the Roads Lifecycle budget.