Skip to content

Signoretti’s push for traffic bollards this year clears city council hurdle

The City of Greater Sudbury has received city council’s approval to install traffic-calming bollards along 10 of the highest-ranked locations in the municipality this year
160222_TC_Traffic_Calming
Traffic calming bollards are seen on Auger Avenue. The City of Greater Sudbury is looking to install more of in the municipality either this year or next, pending final city council approval.

The city’s 10 highest-ranked locations will receive traffic-calming bollards this year as the result of a successful motion by Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti.

During an operations committee meeting last month, city administration had proposed drafting a business case for the bollard program’s consideration in the city’s 2023 budget, but Signoretti successfully argued during the March 8 city council meeting for something to be done this year.

“It’s fast-tracking it so the residents feel that we are doing something and addressing the concerns that they have and they’ve been waiting for a while now,” he said on Tuesday, adding that waiting longer doesn’t make any sense given that there is funding available for the project.

The bollards consist of a series of three flexible posts placed at the sides and centre of affected roads as a means of narrowing roads and thereby reducing the speed of vehicles. Each trio of posts are spaced 150 metres apart along the roadway and are installed once spring street sweeping and line painting wraps up and are removed by Oct. 31, weather permitting.

The city conducted a two-year pilot program with the bollards in 2019 and 2021 and found that they were effective at slowing traffic along urbanized roads with sidewalks. They were less effective along rural roads without sidewalks due to vehicles driving along the shoulder to avoid the bollards. As such, only urbanized roads with sidewalks will be considered for bollards.

The program is intended as a temporary stop-gap measure for addressing the city’s need for traffic-calming devices. The city’s budget only allows for permanent traffic-calming solutions, such as speed bumps and concrete islands, to be constructed at a rate of one street per year.

The traffic bollards for 10 priority streets will cost $50,000 this year and $30,000 during subsequent years. City administration will also prepare a business case for 2023 budget deliberations that would see bollards installed along all 31 roads currently ranked in the city.

A bylaw amendment proposed by Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh and seconded by Signoretti would also see the public support requirement in the city’s Traffic Calming Policy removed when it comes to the installation of permanent traffic-calming devices. A public consultation process would remain.

In the preamble to their motion, it’s explained that the current policy requires a 50 per cent response rate from area residents and a minimum of 60 per cent support from respondents.

Since the policy came into play, eight locations have gone to the public consultation/survey stage and only two achieved the minimum response and support rate to proceed.

The proposed bylaw amendment will come forward at a future city council meeting.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.