Grey Highlands council has voted in favour of reducing speed limits in the Village of Eugenia to 40 km/hr.
At its meeting on Oct. 18, council unanimously passed a resolution to begin the process to lower the speed limit in the village. The issue has been percolating on council’s agenda for several months.
Deputy Mayor Dane Nielsen led the discussion on the issue, after council received a brief presentation from Eugenia resident Ron Barnett about the request for a speed limit reduction for the village.
A staff report at council’s previous meeting indicated that a significant number of speed limit signs would have to be installed in Eugenia if the speed limit was reduced village-wide.
In his presentation, Barnett suggested that not as many signs would be needed if the municipality used gateway signs at roads leading into Eugenia that indicated motorists were entering a 40 km/hr zone.
Barnett said the gateway signs are being used in other municipalities.
“It’s happening everywhere all around us,” he said.
Nielsen said his prime concern is ensuring that enforcement of a speed limit reduction is realistic.
“We need to make sure the OPP are able to enforce the speeds,” said Nielsen.
Chris Cornfield, the municipality’s director of transportation and public spaces, said the Highway Traffic Act does allow a municipality to designate a zone for reduced speeds, with gateway signs allowed to communicate the reduction.
“It gives the tools to the municipalities to impose zones or areas,” said Cornfield.
Cornfield said the requirement to have a 40 km/hr sign every 300 metres would still be in place.
“There would be a nominal reduction in signs (in Eugenia), but not significant,” he said.
After Cornfield’s verbal report, Nielsen moved a resolution to proceed with a speed limit reduction in Eugenia.
“The concept is to reduce the speed in the village of Eugenia so that it aligns with the speed of the main thoroughfare of Grey Road 13,” said Nielson.
The resolution does not immediately reduce the speed limit in Eugenia. Grey Highlands staff will have to prepare bylaw updates to formally implement the new limit, as well as have the signs made and installed.