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Dec. 16, 2018 | Sunday
Local News
Town asks Region for improved co-operation on road safety
Council has decided that a portion NOTL property taxes paid to region should be spent on traffic safety.

Frustrated by the lack of interest from the Niagara Region when it comes to road safety in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Coun. Paolo Miele received support at the final meeting of the council term to ask for improved co-operation.

He, and almost every other candidate, have made road safety an issue of this election campaign, along with the need to convince the Region to be more collaborative on safety improvements for Regional roads.

The Town has major safety and traffic concerns on Regional roads, Miele said in a resolution he put forward, with a population of more than 17,000 contributing more than $27 million to the Region in property taxes—the third largest in Niagara.

After asking for certain Regional roads and intersections to have traffic and safety measures in place, the Town has received "limited co-operation," says Miele's resolution, which asks the Region to co-operate in a joint effort to find solutions and pay for them with the Town's portion of its Regional taxes.

Coun. Martin Mazza spoke of a Town road safety task force, with representation from the Niagara Regional Police, Regional staff, the Niagara Parks Commission police, Town staff and the town's community policing committee, which was formed when the Town was seeing an increase in serious and fatal collisions on its roads.  "They did some good things," he said, through education and also through analysis and acting on the results.

The Town's community policing committee still exists, but the task force, which instituted such programs as Road Watch, was disbanded several years ago.

"When I read this motion I think of what they did," said Mazza, suggesting the next council might visit resurrecting the task force to focus on the need for traffic safety.

Coun. Jim Collard suggested the Region needs to take a look at all Regional roads, which haven't been updated as the town has become busier. The resolution should also include not just safety measures but asking the Region to look at flow of traffic, he said.

"Clearly this has to be done," Collard said, mentioning traffic on its way to the Old Town being backed up from the traffic circle at Concession 6 right through to Virgil. "The Region hasn't done it—we need them to do it."

One of the last moves of council was to vote unanimously to send the resolution to the Region, asking for increased co-operation on improving road safety in NOTL, and paying for improvements with NOTL's portion of Regional property taxes.

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