By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
Drivers will soon need to be more mindful of their speeds on the Mary Street corridor.
Council has supported a motion to reduce the speed limit on the thoroughfare from 50 km/h to 40 km/h.
Residents in the area have been asking for the city to take action due to what they call increasingly unsafe conditions on Mary Street.
Area resident Judy Jaeger has spoken to both council and committees on the issue.
“The people in the Mary Street corridor believe lowering the speed limit is a critical foundation step in addressing safety issues,” Jaeger said at the latest council meeting.
She produced a petition signed by 136 residents.
In a letter accompanying the petition, Jaeger noted the impacted neighboured has a broad demographic including seniors, families with children and people with disabilities.
“…We face aggressive behaviour (tailgating, horns and unsafe passing on solid lines) as we attempt to turn into our driveways; frightening near misses at intersections, and a sense of unsafe conditions as we walk in our neighbourhood,” Jaeger wrote. “Children playing, bike riding (even with a bike lane), and dog walking are often avoided as Mary Street is not considered safe enough.”
Council’s actions went beyond what staff had originally recommended.
The original suggestion was for the 40 km/hr speed limit to be implemented between Beatrice Street and Adelaide Street.
Mary Street begins at Ormond Drive, just north of Taunton Road. It then continues south, with a short section changing in Nonqoun Road, before continuing all the way down to Athol Street in the city’s downtown core.
Ward 2 city councillor Jane Hurst requested the 40 km/hr speed limit run the entirety of the street.
Kerr said it is a rarity for a residential street to span most of the city. However, he believes it is now being use as a main route by a lot of drivers.
“Some motorists have seen Mary Street as other than a residential street. This is not Ritson Road, this is not Simcoe Street,” Kerr said.
He argued for the city to make the road truly safer, the 40 km/hr speed limit must be in place from Ormond Drive to Athol Street.
“It’s truly the Mary Street corridor… lowering the speed will bring the speed down across the entire corridor,” he said, adding it would be confusing for motorists if the speed limits fluctuate between 40 km/hr and 50 km/hr.
“It’s far better to make the whole road a safe residential street with a 40 km speed limit enforced,” Kerr said.
City staff will also reach out to Durham Regional Police Service for more enforcement on the street.