Mapleton lawn sign initiative urges motorists to 'drive slow'

·2 min read

As the Township of Mapleton considers lower speed limits and the creation of a traffic calming policy, it’s also unveiled new lawn signs, asking motorists to “drive slow.”

Township economic development and marketing coordinator Aly Cripps said around 75 of the 100 signs ordered are still up for grabs and can be picked up at the township office at 7265 Side Road 16 in Drayton. Interested residents are asked to bring a donation to the Drayton Area Food Bank in exchange for a placard.

At a meeting earlier this month, Mapleton council directed staff to develop a traffic calming policy which would lay out comprehensive criteria for where traffic calming measures like speed humps, raised crosswalks and bumped-out curbs can be installed.

While staff work on that document, Cripps said the lawn signs were “a good way to just initiate and start something smaller.”

“Each of them just kind of grabs your eye when you see a sign and you see 'children at play', it reminds you to slow down and be more cautious driving,” she continued.

The township decided to collect donations of non-perishable items and cash for the food bank as part of the initiative because of the organization's increased importance during the pandemic.

“This past year, there’s probably more families that need access to the food bank, so we thought it would be a good way to make sure we’re giving back to the community,” Cripps said.

Coun. Marlene Ottens said Mapleton council often hears concerns about speeding and traffic safety from residents.

Because of procedure and minimum standards, it’s not possible for the township to put in stop signs or lower speed limits everywhere constituents request it, said Ottens.

Even when studies deem traffic calming measures necessary the process of getting them installed can be lengthy, particularly if the township has to lobby for something on a county road.

“But this program seemed like something we could really throw ourselves behind because it was simple, quick and easy,” Ottens said. “And whether it’s effective, I think sometimes all people need is to see that little visual reminder, this bright yellow sign, just to make them look at their odometer and say ‘maybe I am going a little fast for a residential area’ and then ease off the gas a bit.”

Alison Sandstrom, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com

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