Since late last year, I have been seeking feedback from residents on the proposal to reduce speed limits on local, residential streets to 30 km/hr. This change would bring us in line with the wards in the Toronto-East York district, who voted to make this change last year. In fact, many residents of Ward 13 thought that this change applied to us as well.
Overall, there has been a significant increase in the number of requests for traffic calming and speed reductions in our community. Under the existing system, each of these requests is accompanied by a petition from residents on a particular street, followed by a costly traffic study that takes 6-8 months to complete. It has left us with a patchwork of speed limits across the ward, with some streets going from 50 km/hr to 40 km/hr then to 30 km/hr.
Through the consultation process, it has become clear that residents want action to reduce the speeds on our local roads. Respondents told me that the proposal would improve safety, something that is borne out through the data – collisions and accidents are less likely to involve death at 30 km/hr. On all sides of the issue, people agreed that increasing enforcement of the speed limits would be essential and to that end we continue to liaise with Toronto Police Services.
In order to make this change, we must build a case for it at Etobicoke-York Community Council. I have sought letters of support from local residents' associations and business improvement areas. These letters in addition to the hundreds of emails and numerous traffic study requests already received, present a compelling case to make this change.
Please watch this space for more updates as we move forward.