Sudbury letters: In praise of photo radar; calming sticks making me angry

A Wood Buffalo RCMP cruiser drives past a photo radar camera near the corner of Thickwood Boulevard and Silin Forest Road on Thursday, February 21, 2019. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network

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Photo radar better way to go

The lowering of speed limits on city streets by signs now being considered by Sudbury city council is not likely to see the results desired.

Traffic generally flows at speeds determined by the roadway itself; a case in point being Second Avenue in Minnow Lake, where after the street was reconstructed to five lanes from two, vehicles are travelling at twice the speed as previously on this section, while the remaining two lanes of the roadway still have vehicles travelling at speeds closer to the posted 50 kilometres per hour.

The only effective way to reduce speeding is enforcement and the best-proven method is photo radar, which is now legal in Ontario, approved by Bill 65 in 2017. The bill allows municipalities to use automatized speed enforcement systems where the prescribed rate of speed is less than 80 kilometres per hour in order to “realize savings in policing, traffic calming and additional axillary benefits” in designated locations.

In February, the Sudbury Citizens for Safety Committee met with representatives of the Sudbury Road Safety Committee, an officer of the Greater Sudbury Police Service and Coun. Michael Vaganini, chair of the police board. They discussed the possibility of photo radar for those streets and roadways that could benefit from such devices.

It was brought to the attention of those present that photo radar could augment red light cameras that are presently being installed. There is considerable evidence that photo radar works. In Edmonton during its first year of operation, collisions involving those walking or biking were down 71 per cent and injuries 41 per cent.

In Gatineau, 20 portable units in the first three months of operation resulted in more than 7,200 tickets, with police saying drivers were slowing down and being more careful.

Toronto has endorsed photo radar for some 700 various locations and expects to have many in operation by the end of this year.

Besides the obvious safety benefits, the revenue generated by photo radar ticketing can be used to cover the cost of implementation and operation, and the freeing of police officers for other duties.

It is hoped that city council will seriously consider this proven and cost-effective opportunity.

Further information can be obtained on the website www.friendlysudbury.ca.

 

John Lindsay, director

Sudbury Citizens for Safety

 

Calming sticks making me angry

The city may think it’s doing a great thing by putting up those so-called calming sticks in Azilda, but they are more of a safety hazard.

In Azilda, where there are no sidewalks, if people are walking beside the road or if there is a person on a bicycle, I, like many others, will move a little to the left to give them room if there is no oncoming traffic.

While I’m paying attention more to them, I sure as heck am not expecting to find a stupid stick stuck in the middle of the road. If there is damage to my car, I think the city should be paying. After all, they are the ones who are telling you to move over for them.

Besides, they are not working: take a good look and you’ll see not very many are slowing down. Put patrol cars out there at rush hour times; after all, are we not paying the police to patrol the roads.

 

Bob Joyes

Chelmsford

 

City budget shock

News the city may have to cut millions to keep its 2020 tax hike to 3.5 per cent drew a lot of comments on The Star’s Facebook page, including this observation from Allan Hood:

I wish I could go to work every year and advise that my cost of living is rising so you’re giving me a 3.5 per cent raise, I’d be out the door. Time to go back to the basics and start living within your means. Cover the needs and not the wants. Stop handing out to every organization that can’t support themselves. Let them fundraise on their own. If I was short on funds, I wouldn’t spend frivolously on things like rebranding and green staircases, these ridiculous plastic traffic calming bollards, etc.

 

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