Our communities in Osgoode Ward and across the City of Ottawa have grown and changed significantly over the last decade with new subdivisions, new families, and more requests to lower the speed on our local streets. I have heard requests from many residents in Osgoode Ward for a harmonized speed limit on our local streets instead of having different speed limits on each road, which often can be frustrating and confusing.
The City of Ottawa has been formally petitioning the Provincial government since 2009 to change the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) to allow gateway signage. Under gateway signage, the entry and exit points of local residential neighborhoods would have specialized speed limit signs, designating pockets of local roadways as all 40km/h, without the need for signage on every street or cross street as is currently required.
Having attended AMO in 2016 as Delegation from the City with Deputy Mayor Taylor and my council colleagues Councillors Brockington, Tierney and Qaqish, we have been working with the Province for years to have this initiative approved. Thanks to recent changes to the HTA, the City now has authority to implement gateway signage! Earlier this morning, Transportation Committee approved the implementation of gateway speed limit signs in local residential areas citywide as outlined in the report. It will go to Council for a final approval on Wednesday, August 29th.
The consistency in speed limits within designated areas will be an effective tool for speed enforceability; paired with drivers becoming familiarized with a speed limit of 40km/h in local residential areas, this will help improve safety in our local neighborhoods overall. As these gateway signs are installed at the entry/exits of these local road clusters instead of every 300m and cross streets, this initiative will also reduce visual clutter and costs required to maintain, implement, and replace speed limit signs across the City and reduce the need for resident-led speed reduction petitions.
As this initiative is still in the early stages and pends Council approval, there are many more discussions and reviews still required. Based on information from staff, projections show it will take quite some time before execution of this citywide change can take place, primarily due to funding.
I will be meeting with staff to discuss the locations and costs associated with Gateway Signage throughout Osgoode Ward. As well, I will be consulting with the Osgoode Ward Advisory Committee for their recommendations on where they believe Gateway Signage will most benefit our communities. Any cluster of roads that might be eligible to receive this Gateway Signage will all be individually reviewed by staff and myself as our villages are very unique.
I look forward to seeing this initiative move forward and provide additional community safety!