A pilot project launches this month to slow traffic in Bradford West Gwillimbury, ON. Residents may notice a new feature on some roadways, thanks to a pilot project recommended by the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury’s Traffic Committee, which aims to slow traffic and protect pedestrians.
Not quite guiderails and not quite pylons, “traffic bollards” are flexible posts that can be installed along roadways in areas where speeding has been identified as an issue. They create a visual narrowing of the road, as well as a slight physical narrowing, which drivers instinctively respond to by slowing down.
“Town Council and staff have worked to find a solution to speeding issues, particularly in areas where the amount of traffic is not enough to warrant other options like stop signs,” says Mayor Rob Keffer. “Bollards are a promising method of reducing speed and we are hopeful that the project will show the same results in BWG that other municipalities have seen when using them.”
For the pilot, bollards have been installed along the center line of the road as well as near the curb or shoulder on each side (see photo) in three areas where speeding has been identified as an ongoing issue. The three locations selected are the western end of Line 7 in Bond Head, West Park Avenue between Holland Street and Huron Lane, and Northgate between Fox Run and Longview Drive. Residents in the immediate area of the bollards have been notified directly.
The bollards will remain in place until November, when they will be removed for winter. Prior to starting the project, the Town conducted traffic studies to establish baseline measurements of speed and volume. These tests will be repeated with the bollards in place to review whether the equipment is having the desired effect, then staff will report back to the Traffic Committee with the results. Once the Committee makes a resolution on how best to proceed it will be considered at a regular meeting of Council.
The bollards have several advantages over other traffic calming measures, including cost and durability. There is ample room for vehicles to drive between the bollards, so unlike speed bumps, vehicles using them correctly will not be impacted in any way. If a vehicle strikes one of the bollards, the post will flex to mitigate potential damage to the equipment and the vehicle.
The Traffic Committee was established by Town of BWG Council in March 2015 as a forum for residents, Council members and staff to discuss concerns about traffic. The Committee is made up of members of Council, with participation by South Simcoe Police and support from Town staff primarily from the Transportation and Engineering areas. Its monthly meetings are advertised in the newspaper and online and are open to the public. Residents can also send concerns to the committee via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.