Halifax council wants to double budget for traffic calming
Councillors raised issues with speeding and road safety at Wednesday budget debate
Halifax councillors want to double the amount of money spent on traffic calming projects next year to $2 million.
The proposed capital budget totalling $175 million was endorsed by regional council after an all-day debate on Wednesday. A final decision on the traffic calming section will be made at another budget session scheduled for April.
Problems with speeding and road safety were raised by several councillors.
"I need confirmation that we are taking seriously the concern around traffic calming," said Coun. Becky Kent. "That list is too long."
There are currently hundreds of streets eligible for traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps. Brad Anguish, the city's executive director of transportation and public works, said only 13 streets were done in 2019. In 2020, the number grew to 30.
Anguish said the plan is to get 52 done this year, with 10 of them in school zones.
A call for school zones to be a priority
Other councillors hoped school zones would get special attention.
"My feeling is that if we could all agree that school zones are a priority, then we could maybe narrow down that list," said Coun. Kathryn Morse.
Anguish also told councillors that the policy that identifies streets for traffic calming is too broad and needs to be updated. He also said other measures such as photo enforcement will help with speeding concerns. Anguish said there is money in next year's budget to study ways to implement traffic cameras.
"The costs for photo enforcement aren't in the cameras," said Anguish. "It has to do with how you process tickets and how do you provide evidence."
CAO Jacques Dube said he has met with Halifax's police chief and the Halifax RCMP superintendent to talk about road safety.
"They're on it," said Dube. "They're coming up with some very interesting ways to help that cause."
He did not divulge details about what the police have in mind.