One of every seven cars travelling down two Downes Road hills go so fast as to warrant impounding if they were caught by police.
That is according to a 2016 traffic analysis included in a staff report forwarded to the city’s transportation advisory committee this week.
Residents have long raised the alarm about speeding on Downes Road, and petitioned the city in 2016 to deal with the problem. Now data included in a city report suggests the problem is just as bad as residents have long said, particularly on two downhill stretches where drivers routinely hit freeway speeds.
A staff report to the city’s transportation advisory committee reveals that during a 2016 traffic analysis, one of every seven westbound drivers was clocked going more than 107 km/h at the bottom of a hill just east of Mt. Lehman Road. The speed limit on that stretch is 60 km/h. On an eastbound stretch near Gladwin Road with a 50 km/h limit, one in seven drivers was found to exceed 90 km/h.
Under provincial law, the minimum penalty for excessive speeding – defined as travelling more than 40 km/h over the speed limit – is a $368 fine and seven days impoundment, plus at least $210 in costs. Second and third offences warrant longer impoundment penalties, while driving more than 60 km/h over the limit increases the fine.
Speeds on other flatter stretches of Downes are less extreme, but many drivers still routinely exceed the posted limits by double digits.
To address the problem, staff have developed a plan to add more than two dozen new signs on Downes, including new speed limit notices and digital speed readers that will tell drivers just how fast they are driving.
Road markings would also be added denoting the school zone along the road, along with “optical speed bar pavement markings” meant to heighten drivers’ awareness about how fast they are travelling.
The plan will come to council at a future meeting.