North-end Halifax group wants speeding reduced in their area
'City officials should listen to the community,' says advocate
A group in north-end Halifax wants immediate steps taken to reduce speeding in their neighbourhood.
Lawn signs asking drivers to slow down have gone up in the area near the NSCC Institute of Technology on Leeds Street. St. Stephen's Elementary School is across from the community college on Highland Avenue.
Kim Fry moved to the corner of Leeds and Robie Street in June with her five-year-old son, Nico. She said neighbours had a warning for her right away.
"You've really got to watch your child because this is the worst intersection in the city," said Fry. "And very quickly we started noticing just how bad the traffic is."
Cathy Mellett, Nico's grandmother, helped organize the North End Neighborhood Action Group that is behind the lawn signs. The group also plans to put flyers on the windshields of parked cars at the community college.
"Saying welcome to our neighborhood … please slow down and watch for our kids and let's have a good year," said Mellett. "We're going to put one on every car in the parking lot."
Mellett's neighborhood is one of hundreds in HRM worried about speeding.
According to Coun. Shawn Cleary, who represents Halifax West- Armdale, speeding in residential areas is the No. 1 issue he has heard about for the past several years.
"And I fully expect to have many more calls as universities and public schools get back to in-person learning," said Cleary. "Does every residential street in Halifax need traffic calming? Probably."
The 2021-22 budget for traffic calming measures was doubled to more than $2 million. That means about 100 streets will get speed humps or bump outs to slow cars down.
Another 225 streets have been assessed and await future budgets. Another 250 streets await assessment.
Just one section of Leeds Street is on the waiting list for assessment. Mellett said that could take years.
In the meantime, she has a number of interim measures she believes will help.
"A four-way stop at Leeds and Robie, flags at the crosswalk [on Robie] and temporary speed indicators at every school when they start in September," said Mellett. "City officials should listen to the community."
Fry also wants the province to clarify the speed limits in school zones.
"The signs that say go at a reduced speed when children are present is confusing to people," said Fry, "It does not only mean when school is in session, or certain hours, so provincial legislation should change to make that clear."