The traffic-calming bollards installed along Robinson Drive last week are receiving positive reviews from area residents.
The majority of people Sudbury.com spoke with while door-knocking along the road this week believe the bollards have been effective in slowing traffic, while those uncertain of their merit said they didn’t have a problem with them.
“We’re happy with them,” area resident Michelle Martineau said, adding they have “slowed down traffic considerably.”
This, she added, is important in part due to a number of kids and dogs living on the street.
With speed bumps installed along the nearby Southview Drive a few years ago, Pekka Marttinen said the traffic volume along Robinson Drive increased due to people wanting to avoid the disruptive traffic-calming infrastructure.
Since the bollards were installed, he reports noticing a “huge increase in confusion” among people uncertain as to how they might proceed past the devices.
The bollards consist of a series of three flexible posts placed at the sides and centre of affected roads as a means of narrowing the driving space to reduce the speed of vehicles. Each trio of posts are spaced 150 metres apart along the roadway and are installed as soon as spring street-sweeping and line painting-wraps up. They are removed by Oct. 31 to accommodate winter snow plowing, weather permitting.
Some motorists have been stopping at the first bollard uncertain as to how they might proceed, Marttinen said, adding that among those drivers, it has been successful in slowing traffic.
“I think they’re doing OK,” 50-year area resident Sharron Celestini said, adding that most people appear to be approaching the bollards with caution and slowing down.
That is, except for one white truck she saw gun it down the street, striking every bollard they could along the way, after which the flexible devices bounced back up behind the vehicle.
The traffic-calming devices are considered a temporary means of slowing traffic until such time as the city installs a permanent traffic-calming solution, which can include speed bumps, a raised median island and other options.
With the city chipping away at one permanent solution per year among a list of 31 ranked locations, Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti successfully petitioned for the city to install temporary bollards along the top 10-ranked locations to accommodate more streets this year.
The locations the city is tackling this year include:
- Brenda Drive (Moonrock Avenue to St Charles Lake Road)
- Lansing Avenue (Lasalle Boulevard to Maley Drive)
- Grandview Boulevard (Montrose Avenue to Wedgewood Drive)
- Kelly Lake Road (Southview Drive to Copper Street)
- Robinson Drive (Kelly Lake Road to Southview Drive)
- Hawthorne Drive (Barry Downe Road to Auger Avenue)
- Bancroft Drive (The Kingsway to Bellevue Avenue)
- Arnold Street (Barbara Street to 400 m West of Skyward Drive)
- Morin Avenue (Dell Street to Tedman Avenue)
- Balsam Street (Garrow Road to Nickel Street)
A city spokesperson noted bollards have already been installed at seven of the 10 locations and the remaining three should be dealt with by the end of the month, or when construction in the areas is completed.
“It’s something they’ve been waiting for since I was first elected (in 2014),” Signoretti said of Robinson Drive. “It’s been a while, but sometimes processes don’t happen as quickly as we’d like.”
The bollards are a good start, he said, adding city council’s direction to conduct a pilot program looking at reducing speed limits from 50 km/h to 40 km/h in certain neighbourhoods might also help slow traffic when accompanied by police enforcement.
The city is installing gateway speed limit signs in one neighbourhood this year and will look at installing signs in additional neighbourhoods next year, pending the results of a business case up for discussion during 2023 budget deliberations.
Gateway speed limit signs include “area begins” upon entering a neighbourhood and “area ends” as motorists exit, indicating a uniform speed limit between signs.
Both the Gateway speed limit and bollard efforts are being conducted alongside studies to determine how effective they are, which Signoretti said will help guide future city action.
When it comes time for Robinson Drive to receive permanent traffic-calming infrastructure, area resident Dave Welsh said he’d like to see a few stop signs installed along the road.
Motorists were ripping down the street prior to the bollards’ installation last week, he said, and the drivers were occasionally aggressive. On a few occasions, he reports having motorists speed past his vehicle on the residential street.
As such, he said a permanent solution is necessary. With emergency vehicles using Robinson Drive, speed bumps are not the preferred choice.
Although his wife, Ghislaine Landry, doesn’t agree with him that the bollards have been effective, she does agree occasional stop signs along the stretch of road would help.
Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.