- Council addressed Main Street traffic and safety concerns at their June 21 meeting, approving the following:
- Initiation of a design process for traffic calming measures between Park Drive and York Durham Line
- Installation of a set of traffic delineators between Park Drive and Tenth Line
- Expansion of driver education communications and campaigns through Stouffville’s Road Watch Working Group and “On the Road” magazine articles
- The Town’s traffic calming design process will include consideration of bump-outs, pedestrian crossings, and bike lanes.
- Mayor Lovatt added the approved amendment requesting Staff install traffic delineators before completing the above design process.
- Available traffic accident data from 2013 to 2021 was considered, as well as a recent multi-vehicle collision on June 2, 2023, covering 17 collisions.
- According to the Staff report, the data indicated a “strong correlation to distracted driving” rather than speeding, with concerns about following distances also mentioned.
- Town staff have not yet determined a location or timeline for installation of the delineators. Bullet Point News was informed that more information would be available in the coming weeks.
Both Councillor Smith and Councillor Kroon opposed Main Street traffic calming, suggesting such driver behaviours are an education issue not solved by traffic calming measures. “Adding things that are going to hold people’s attention while they’re driving, it’s just ludicrous,” Councillor Kroon proclaimed. “If you can’t see a parked car on the side of the road and you slam into it, it doesn’t matter what’s on the side of the road: you’re going to slam into it.”
Councillor Sherban, who sits on the Road Watch Working Group, countered, saying road design can indeed assist with distracted driving. “Distracted driving [occurs] because [drivers] have long runways that give them opportunities to do other things behind the wheel,” Sherban explained. “If you’re on a street…where you have to negotiate bump-outs or fly over a hump, you don’t become distracted because you realize that strip of the road is not easy to navigate.”
“I don’t believe that simply throwing safety measures, for lack of a better term, in the middle of the road is going to make things better. Because it’s not.” Councillor Kroon responded. “Putting these traffic calming measures on the street is going to lead to every street asking us for the same things,” Kroon added. “Our municipality will become a warren of bump-outs and bike lanes and God knows whatever else, and you won’t be able to get around town.”
“It’s difficult to not accept traffic calming when we can,” Councillor Upton stated. “We have to take a stand and do something as opposed to saying ‘We’re not going to fix this so let’s do nothing.’” The item then passed on a 5-2 vote.