Traffic Safety (Speeding and Traffic Volume) on Tiverton Drive, Ward 9

Traffic Safety (Speeding and Traffic Volume) on Tiverton Drive, Ward 9
Posted on October 19, 2014 | Phillip Dempsey | Written on October 19, 2014
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Letter type:
Open

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

This is an open letter to Councillor Egli and Mayor Jim Watson about the ongoing struggle Tiverton Drive residents are having with Councillor Egli regarding traffic speed and volume on Tiverton, a one-of-a-kind street in Ward 9: Knoxdale-Merivale.

The issue(s) continue to be unaddressed and unresolved.

Tiverton Drive and Councillor Egli - The Great Divide

I think it appropriate at this time of Municipal Elections and in particular your campaign for re-election as Councillor for Ward 9 to comment, on behalf of the residents of Tiverton Drive who reside between Charkay and Beliveau, and to other residents of your Ward, concerning the state of your "deaf ear" and as a result of same, your remarkable but regrettable lack of action in substantively addressing and resolving the issue(s) of speeding and traffic volume on Tiverton Drive.

In reply to a comment in "The Bulldog"  ( http://bulldogottawa.com/) wherein a writer queried whether you have sufficient political capital to resolve once and for all the speeding and volume issue on Tiverton Drive, I replied there and again question in this forum whether you have the political fibre (read backbone) to do the job you were elected to do. That is to say, represent all the constituents of your Ward in a fair but responsive manner including the residents of Tiverton Drive

A brief background 

Tiverton Drive is a residential street. The topography of the street is characterized by a steep incline. The posted speed limit for our street, is 40Km per hour. The stretch of Tiverton Drive between Charkay and Beliveau has and continues to experience significant speed and traffic volume issues.  This particular stretch of roadway is unimpeded by stop signs and its layout in every way is akin to a “speedway” from top to bottom of the hill or vice versa.  There is no sidewalk between Kilmory ( just below Charkay) and Beliveau.

Between June and October 2013, West bound Meadowlands traffic was diverted onto Tiverton during Meadowlands reconstruction.

The learned Councillor will recall that his office was repeatedly “lobbied” by myself on behalf of the residents who reside in the Charkay and Beliveau stretch, to initiate steps to control speeding and volume on our street during the reconstruction phase.

Our experience of detoured Meadowlands traffic for the period between June and end of October was, simply stated, nightmarish. Our experience with the good Councillor during this period revealed him to be more of a disinterested observer concerning speeding and traffic volume responding only when pressed for our requests to have “LED speed boards” installed to at least slow the traffic on the street.

Installation of Speed Plates Between Charkay and Beliveau

Given our experience from the previous months of detours onto our street and after numerous requests to the Councillor’s office to do something about the speed on our street, “speed plates” were finally installed in the roadway of Tiverton between Charkay and Beliveau in April 2014 for a two week period. It is important to note that unlike the posted 40Km signs and unlike the LED “speed boards” which are quite visible to drivers as it flashes their speed, “speed plates’ are not seen by the drivers.  

In the final result, data gathered from the “speed plates” accurately reflect over a 24 hour day, 7 days a week, the speed and volume of traffic whether East or West bound traffic.  More importantly, cars do not slow their speed such as occurs when a flashing LED "speed board” is observed or when a Police Car ahead of them might be observed. Not to put too fine a point on it but the “speed plates” capture speed as it is.

The April 2014 data fully revealed and confirmed our empirical assessment of the extent of the speeding between Charkay and Beliveay.  The data showed that the norm was 60 km and above up to speeds of 104 km per hour on a 250 metre stretch of road. However, this data was not disclosed to us by Councillor Egli’s office until a resident persisted in his efforts to obtain the real data taken from the “speed plates”.

What should be noted, the learned Councillor will most certainly recall, is that his office initially had provided us only with speed “averages" which of course, masked the reality of what we live with on this stretch of road.

The June “Open House” meeting

After pressing the learned Councillor into action, an “Open House” meeting was set up for the first week in June. Among other things, the purpose of the “Open House” was to discuss the April 2014 data, of which most residents of Tiverton were unaware. While a number of views and alternatives to address the speed and volume problem were expressed during the meeting, the essential “take away” from the meeting was that Councillor Egli and City Traffic representatives would work  to (1) address the speeding issue and (2) a volume or traffic count would be conducted for the traffic that used Tiverton Drive as a "cut through" street whether from Meadowlands or otherwise.

Of equal import, what residents of Tiverton Drive subsequently learned i.e.  those who live between Charkay and Beliveau, was that the good Councillor despite his “concern” regarding the speed of traffic and volume, has not been quite up to the mark in translating strategies into action for Tiverton Drive.

That is to say, Councillor Egli has shown and with the support of City Traffic representatives continues to show a marked propensity for saying NO on issues that call for solutions which do not quite fit the desired model as interpreted by City Traffic representatives. Tiverton Drive unfortunately is one of those issues and Councillor Egli has consistently sided with those same Traffic representatives.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back  - Councillor Egli’s “strategies" regarding Driver’s speed between Charkay and Beliveau

It should be noted that immediately prior to the “Open House” hosted by Councillor Egli, the learned Councillor opined to CBC Radio the first of his NO’s; the issue of speeding on Tiverton Drive could not be resolved by the installation of two(2) Stop Signs located between Charkay and Beliveau (as proposed by residents who live in this stretch). 

Despite the firm takeaways from the “Open House” which we believed would be rapidly addressed by the Councillor’s office and City Traffic representatives, the learned Councillor expressed his view that perhaps residents between Charkay and Beliveau could undertake "self help"...park cars on the street so as to slow the traffic both east and west bound. This suggestion left us with the clear impression that our Councillor Egli was putting the onus on Tiverton residents to slow the traffic speed. A further suggestion from Councillor Egli was for residents to call local law enforcement if speeding cars were observed. While we are still shaking our heads at this suggestion, one can only ask how that is done from one's home as cars whiz by.  As we informed the good Councillor through our e-mails, one would have to spend their day at the curb to get the license plate numbers of the speeders.  

What did we receive by way of reply from Councillor Egli? Silence.

As the weeks dragged on following the Open House meeting but still no action forthcoming, Councillor Egli will know that our e-mails to his office would be answered that he was "working on the issue" or "meeting with City Traffic representatives” and we would be advised shortly.

To assist him in his deliberations with City Traffic, numerous suggestions/alternatives such as "No Turn" onto to Tiverton during peak hours both east and west bound were offered as a solution to curtail volume/cut through and hopefully deter speeding during these time periods. Councillor Egli will know that he has not responded to this possible alternative.

Another solution provided to Councillor Egli; a painted yellow line from Charkay to Beliveau to give the impression a narrow street, was met with silence. Tiverton residents persisted and Councillor Egli will know that more solutions were offered. For e.g. speed bump(s) installed between Charkay and Beliveau.  Quick off the mark in reply and to our astonishment, City Traffic and Councillor Egli advised of a cost of $8K for installation.  

This cost of course was indeed a surprise compared to the cost of approximately $2700 this writer had incurred to replace our old driveway and put in a new driveway approximately 60 feet in length and perhaps 10 to 12 feet wide.  The width of Tiverton Drive is approxiately 30 feet (more of less).  

Thereafter Councillor Egli will recall that, when pressed on the matter, he then advised that Tiverton Drive did not meet the criteria of the "Warrant" system for installation of a speed bump(s).  If that was so, we questioned, why then advise of a cost of $8K if we did not initially meet the criteria? Moreover, what was the criteria we asked? We still wait. The good Councillor was then pointed to other streets in our immediate area such as Leaver Avenue, a very short distance from Tiverton Drive contains two (2) speed bumps. Leaver Avenue is somewhat longer in length than Tiverton Drive and with a slight incline proceeding south.

We acknowledge that Leaver Avenue speed bumps have been “grandfathered” given that speed bumps installation took place prior to amalgamation. When Councillor Egli also voiced that plows and emergency vehicles would have difficulty on Tiverton Drive, we asked and reasonably so….what of other streets contain speed bumps? What occurs on those streets during winter days or emergency situations? No answer has been received nor do we reasonably expect one will be provided given our experiences to date with Councillor Egli.

One further point on speed bumps. In a recent trip to Reykjavik, I noted an abundance of speed bumps placed throughout the city whether on main streets or side streets such as Tiverton Drive.  However on Eriksgata, a street that runs in front of two (2) hospitals, there are three (3) if not four (4) speed bumps BEFORE you even get to the Hospital.

I advised the learned councillor of this situation. What I received as a reply was "we continue to look at the issue or Tiverton speeding”. 

 

Living with Speeding and Traffic Volume on Tiverton Drive…What is to be done?

One has only to live on this stretch of Tiverton to experience the 24 hour 7 day a week of speeding vehicles. The good Councillor has been invited  to "take a view" but not just for the photo-op opportunity of waving a "slow down" sign like our Councillor has done in the recent past. Councillor Egli believes in more signage despite the fact that for this stretch of road, drivers ignore the signs.  In this regard, the evidence is irrefutable as demonstrated by the April 2014 data. 

Perhaps if the learned Councillor lived on this stretch of street, he may be inclined to take more substantive action than he has shown to date.

So, what is to be done? We are uncertain. Despite the assurances that Councillor Egli provides “he is working on the issue” etc, etc, etc, there is little if any confidence from residents who live between Charkay and Beliveau, that anything will be done by his office.

For reasons best known to himself and despite his protests that he has our interests at heart, Councillor Egli has chosen to ignore the speeding and volume issue on Tiverton Drive. If the answer is to be a continuing NO for Tiverton Drive, perhaps Councillor Egli could advise as to his rationale for continuing to say “we are working on the problem”.  

What Councillor Egli cannot get however is a "free pass” nor can City Traffic representatives as they both know the severity and extent of speeding on Tiverton Drive. Each of these respective parties cannot in good conscience condone the confirmed speeding data.  Should Councillor Egli choose the path of least resistance and continue to drag out this issue and similarly ignore Tiverton residents, he is placing them in harms way as well as the pedestrians, runners and children that use this street. 

Councillor Egli’s campaign platform among other things, provides platitudes regarding his responsiveness to the residents of his Ward. However, I would suggest that this seemingly proactive platform is only for issues that don’t create a lot of work/headaches for his office or for those of City Traffic representatives such as in the case of Tiverton Drive. 

In summation, we ask, does Councillor Egli have what it takes to get the job done?  Does he inspire confidence? Is he reliable and responsive? Is he creative? Is he thinking Outside the Box for this particular street which is not like others he chooses for comparison?

Not in my estimation if the debacle on Tiverton is representative of how he conducts his business for the constituents of Ward 9. Given his track record and absence of same for this area of Tiverton Drive,  I think it is reasonable to remind Councillor Egli that his obligation is to represent all the constituents of his Ward, not pick and choose as the case may be.

A real fear however is that should the learned Councillor be successful in his re-election efforts, our issue and our dilemma will be placed on the good Councillor's "to do" list should he be so inclined.

The struggle continues….

About The Author

Retired Lawyer