Middlesex County does not join speed reductions

Drivers will soon need to slow down in downtown Strathroy and around schools in Strathroy and Mt. Brydges.

Speeding fines will also be doubled for those going over 40 km/h in these areas after council at its Feb. 6 meeting passed the speed reductions and adopting community safety zones.

“This allows the police enforcement to double the speed fines in those zones,” explained Jake Straus, Director of Engineering and Public Works.

Not all streets by all schools will get the lower speed limit. County roads are staying at 50 km/h, including Second Street by the high schools and Carroll Street West by Mary Wright Public School in Strathroy.

That is because county and municipal representatives sit on the traffic committee that came up with these recommendations.

“Chris Traini is the County engineer who oversees the County road which would be Second Street, and he made the comment that they would not be looking at changing any of the speed limits on County roads. You’ll also notice Carroll Street West… that also fronts the (Mary Wright Public) School, and they were not looking to reduce the speed limits on any of their roads,” said Straus.

The large housing development across from the high schools on Second Street has council members wanting traffic lights installed there, but that will also require county approval.

The idea of lowering all residential streets to 40 km/h was brought up.

“I’m just wondering if we get to a point where we just say you know what, all residential streets that are not collectors in Strathroy-Caradoc that are municipal roads, just make it a blanket 40 km/h. Because we’re had so many complaints constantly, and every time we make some changes and lower some speed limits, I end up getting 10 more phone calls from people saying ‘you didn’t do my street,’” said Coun. John Brennan.

Ward two Coun. Brian Derbyshire said they should not limit lowering speeds to urban areas, suggesting all rural back roads go down to 60 km/h.

“And I realize that sounds crazy… But when we put 80, they’re doing 100. So when we put 60 they’ll do 80, which gets us somewhere to where we possibly should be,” said Derbyshire.

Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner