Speed limits will drop to 40 km/h in residential subdivisions through Russell Township after a council decision on Monday.
Speed limits will drop to 40 km/h in residential subdivisions through Russell Township after a council decision on Monday.

Council to cut speed limit in residential areas

Stephen Jeffery
EAP
Speed limits in residential areas across Russell Township will drop to 40 km/h after councillors approved the plan.

The changes would affect streets Russell, Embrun, Marionville, and Limoges west of Limoges Road. Speed limits would drop once new signs that advertised the changes were installed. A report presented to the council indicated the process would take about six months and would progress in stages from east to west.

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The “gateway” signs would indicate drivers had entered or exited a 40 km/h zone in both English and French, and would be installed at multiple boundaries of residential areas and subdivisions through the affected communities. Speeding fines, however, would not increase as a result of the reduction, as the majority of streets were not regarded as “community safety zones” with schools, arenas, and community centres.

School zone speed limits in the affected area would change to 30 km/h. As part of the change, several “children at play” signs installed through the villages at the request of the public would be removed if they were not installed near a playground.

In his report to council, Infrastructure Services executive director Jonathan Bourgon said both the council and Ontario Provincial Police could expect an increase in speeding complaints once the signs were installed, even if drivers had followed the rules. He said most speeding complaints the township currently received were on residential streets where the average speed was 35 km/h.

“The majority of cities where the speed limit was lowered saw an increase in speeding complaints because the perception is that now car should be going much slower but in reality, cars are now travelling at the posted speed,” he said. “Residents have the perception that cars are speeding in the residential streets.”

The changes would be advertised on social media and council signs, while the township was expected to consult the OPP on enforcement. The 156 extra speed limit signs were expected to increase asset management annual requirements by $20,500 over seven years.