Dozens of members of the Kilbride community came out to the rural safe streets meeting Thursday night to discuss road safety issues that have been pestering them for years.
Ward 3 councillor Rory Nisan hosted the event, and was joined by Craig Kummer, director of transportation services, Matt Koevoets, manager of roads operations, and Halton Regional Police Sergeant Paul Kapstey.
“Look at how many people came out to talk about road safety. We essentially stayed on one issue for the whole time,” Nisan says. “That was the number one theme from the rural forum we held earlier this year.”
After a few opening remarks, Nisan opened the floor to questions from the public, of which there were many.
Residents in Kilbride have been asking for increased road safety measures for years, either in the form of more police in the area, or otherwise.
“The service is currently running at 30 per cent understaffed on the road from a uniform patrol perspective,” Kapstey says. “My traffic unit is being pulled into more calls for service for mental health and things like that. Kilbride is not a call-heavy centre luckily, though it is traffic heavy.”
Multiple residents brought up speeding sports cars and motorcycles that drive down the tight country roads. Audience members asked about the possibilities of speed cameras, narrowing roads, and adding medians to the existing roads.
Depending on what specific road or intersection the public was asking about, it may be a regional or a city road. Kummer took notes as well as answered questions from the public. As a representative for the city, he assured the crowd that his notes will be passed on to the regional representative who takes care of those roads, including Guelph Line.
Additional construction towards Hamilton, as well as the fact that more and more people are using the area to commute into the city, means that things are going to change over the next few years.
“We have to adapt to the change, especially when it comes to people’s safety and security,” Nisan says. “I understand where people are coming from, especially seniors who follow the rules of the road who just want to get home safe, and that’s why we need community safety zones, automated speed enforcement, and more police on the streets.”
Nisan added that he thinks automated speed enforcement (ASE), or photo radar, is going to be the next big thing in keeping Burlington’s roads safe.
An ASE system records images of vehicles travelling over the posted speed limit in places like school zones and community safety zones with tickets issued to the registered plate holder, regardless of who was driving. No demerit points are lost, but there will be a fine.
“It’s my hope that we’ll get them on the road this year,” Nisan says. “That will have an immediate impact in the area, and I hope it will have an impact in the surrounding area as well.”
-with files from Julie Slack