320 people had their say
If Town Council were looking for an indication on what people’s views were on the recommendation to reduce the speed limit on Queen Street, the survey that we had in last week might give them some insight. Although it is not a scientific poll, the number of opinions we received last week show that a vast majority do not agree with a reduction in the speed limit. We had 320 responses with 292 people voting “No”, and only 28 voting ‘Yes”. This works out to 91% of people saying to leave the speed limit as it is now.
We had many comments from people and we will try to clarify some of the misconceptions.
The first one is that many thought that this was the Town’s idea when in fact this was a recommendation from the Community Policing Advisory Committee. The Town, through the Council can approve it or not.
Next, some thought this was a “money maker” for the Stratford police while in fact on the ticket revenue, the Town receives all fine revenue net of any applicable court administration costs. The more detailed answer is as follows:
Provincial Offences Infractions
These sorts of infractions are typically within the Highway Traffic Act. Within the fee there is the set fine and then court administration costs. The court gets their share first and the victim surcharge of the admin cost goes directly to the province. After these costs are deducted, the rest of the revenue is retained by the Town.
If a by-law infraction is issued and paid in St. Marys before the Town sends notice to the provincial offences court, then St. Marys keeps the full amount. For instance, infraction for parking on street overnight is $20 for early payment or $30 after 5 days. If the infraction is paid in St. Marys within 30 days, St. Marys keeps the full revenue. If the Town has to notify provincial offences because the person hasn’t paid and St. Marys wants the fine put on the owner’s bill when they go to renew their vehicle registration, then the Town gets back a portion of the set fine fee after administration costs are deducted.
Other topics we heard from people was that the speed limit should be reduced to 40 km/h on James Street South, especially in the DCVI area, while others said that the speed limit on Water Street, by the Cement plant should be increased to at least 60 km/h.
And finally, most people equated the proposed lowering of the speed limit on Queen Street to the controversy with truck traffic in town. The following comment sums up what most people said: “No, the speed limit should not be reduced on this, or any, section of Queen St. I am unaware of police or public reports of speeds in excess of 50 km/h being a recurring problem within this area. Nor does the incidence of vehicle/pedestrian collisions seem to be an issue within this area. If the real reason for this proposal is, as I suspect, the reduction of heavy truck traffic and accompanying noise issues, it will fix neither. No trucks travel through St. Marys as a scenic detour. They are here because they NEED to either source or deliver their loads within the town or bordering areas of Perth South. No truck driver that I know would hazard the narrow lanes of downtown St. Marys if not required. As to noise reduction, lowering speeds does not make trucks quieter. If anything the opposite is true. Lower speeds mean lower gears equaling MORE noise. Don’t fix what isn’t broken to appease a small vocal group who understand neither the fundamental necessity of trucks in our economy or noise abatement measures”.