On Safety

As we reach the beginning of the voting period, I wanted to talk about safety in Middlesex Centre, and specifically Ward 4.

Over the next 10 years there is going to be a great deal of road reconstruction happening. We have an infrastructure funding gap of roughly $42,000,000 worth of infrastructure repairs that need to be addressed as soon as possible, and roughly another $43,000,000 worth of infrastructure repairs that need to be addressed over the next 10 years.

In that infrastructure there will no doubt be roads that need to be repaired and rebuilt. I asked municipal staff recently whether any of those roads were slated to include bike lanes, and I got this response:

“At the present time, no specific bike lanes / routes have been slated for inclusion with any one particular reconstruction project.”

As a pedestrian, cyclist, and driver, I find this extremely disappointing. The staff member goes on to remind me that bikes can share the road with vehicles, and while that’s true it’s not really a solution. All over the world we’re seeing municipalities of every size embracing dedicated bike lanes as part of a solution towards making roads safer, for both cyclists and drivers, and yet we have none slated here in Middlesex Centre.

Additionally, there are a host of issues we need to explore and determine how to resolve. These are the types of issues and potential solutions people are discussing with me:

  • Replacing intersections like Glendon and Vanneck/Jefferies with roundabouts
  • Paving the shoulders of Glendon Drive and installing bike lanes – this would make the road safer for all users
  • Replacing some STOP signs with YIELD signs – this has been shown to be effective in some situations
  • Incorporating/mandating the “complete streets” philosophy in new developments and reconstructions
  • Curbing speeding in residential areas — ideas here include introducing speed bumps, reducing the standard speed limit to 40kph, building narrower streets, etc.
  • Installing a traffic mirror at the Coldstream Rd underpass
  • The school crossing at Fieldrun Drive and Oxbow Drive could also include installing rumble strips, increasing police presence for an extended period of time, eliminating the back-and-forth with the TVDSB and funding a crossing guard, and so on.

We have to put a stop to the rising number of collisions on our roads, and some of this will include coordination with the County and even the City of London. Ultimately we continue to see mitigation methods put in place that are not working, with little follow-up, or a lack of communication about what else can be done.

You love living in this area. I do too. And that’s why safety is so important to me, to you, our children, and even adults who are trying to stay active. We can do better!

Together we can build communities that are connected, respected, and protected. Vote for Derek Silva for Councillor of Ward 4!