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Community safety zone moving up at region

This memorial sat at the corner of Conlin Road and Simcoe Street after a 19-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed at the busy intersection in November.

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

It has been recommended regional council update Durham’s bylaws to expand the new community safety zone in Oshawa.

Oshawa councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri has been quick to make his voice heard at city council regarding a new community safety zone in his ward, now he’s moved on to regional council and the works committee.

As part of the region’s role in safety zone, staff recommended an amendment to the bylaw, which regulates traffic and parking on highways and municipal property. The amendment includes a reduction in speed limits, as well as an expansion to the already existing safety zone.

The expansion to the community safety zone would be implemented between Niagara Drive/Selleck Lane and the Campus Ice Centre.

Marimpietri is also hoping to have the speed limit lowered from 60 km/h to 50 km/h on Simcoe Street between Conlin Road and the Campus Ice Centre.

The push for the community safety zone began after the death of a 19-year-old pedestrian in November.

Marimpietri previously told The Oshawa Express, “There’s a great deal of distress to myself, staff, and everyone, especially the student population, that there was a fatality there. Nobody should have to die to make sure that action was taken.”

A city-enacted community safety zone has already been put in place 100 metres west of Founders Drive to the west of the Conlin/Simcoe intersection to 100 metres east of Bridle Road.

But Marimpietri is looking for more.

“I see a number of elements that need to go into the future expansion of the community safety zone,” he said. “This is a very big project. It involves signs, speed boards and infrastructure.”

At the latest works committee meeting, the Ward 2 councillor asked what staff was doing to make sure regional elements surrounding the community safety zone were being introduced.

“Now that the legislation has been passed, regulations are being worked on, and as those regulations come to fruition, we will then know how we can implement,” Susan Siopis, commissioner of works said.

She also noted right now automated safety enforcement is allowed in school zones and community safety zones.

Marimpietri said there will be many elements council will need to work on with businesses in the area, as well as the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and Durham College.

“You’ve got the institutional element, the employment based element, residents obviously are a huge element, visitors and obviously daily traffic,” said Marimpietri.

Siopis noted, “Education, messaging and communications in a cooperative, coordinated fashion, would be very useful I think, both from a student population perspective, the residents, and the businesses in the area. So we know right off the bat that is one area we can tackle together.”

Oshawa Ward 1 regional councillor John Neal said, “[The Conlin Road and Simcoe Street intersection] has always been an unsafe intersection.”

The committee voted in favour of the amendment to the bylaw, which will now move in committee of the whole.

“I do think that this is a huge project and a big step forward for the safety of students, residents and visitors in the area,” said Marimpietri.