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Niagara Falls
Friday, June 14, 2024
Queenston residents call for lower speed limits in the village
Adrian Schoot Uiterkamp says speed limits in Queenston should be reduced from 50 kilometres an hour to 30 kilometres an hour. JULIA SACCO

The Queenston Residents Association is speaking up about its desire for safer roads in the community — for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike.

During Tuesday night’s council meeting, Adrian Schoot Uiterkamp, the association’s director, made a presentation at the podium asking council to decrease speed limits in Queenston.

“The critical issue in Queenston is the speed and a mix of traffic on the streets, with only three of the 10 streets having a sidewalk,” Schoot Uiterkamp said. 

He added that the small, quiet village of Queenston attracts vehicles, cyclists and hikers with its scenic routes and attractions, complicating safety measures. 

Traffic and speeding are not new issues in Queenston either, Schoot Uiterkamp said.

Concerns from the Queenston Residents Association grew after resident Louise Leyland was killed by a cyclist last April.

“The (association) has expressed concern to the town and council for many years,” Schoot Uiterkamp said.

A survey was put out to residents of Queenston last year, he said, in which 98 per cent of respondents were in favour of lowering the speed limit. 

“This gave us the mandate to create 20 action items. Six action points have been implemented so far,” he said. 

During Tuesday’s meeting, Schoot Uiterkamp presented three more requests. 

“Our priority is to have the speed limit reduced throughout Queenston Village from 50 kilometres to 30 kilometres as soon as possible,” he said.

“We are concerned about waiting until the town’s urban and rural traffic study is completed.”

In addition, he requested the installation of rumble strips or speed cushions at the north and south ends of Queenston Street, safety bollards at key points for cyclists and speed limit boards at key traffic points. 

Coun. Gary Burroughs responded to the presentation saying he understands these requests, but still has concerns regarding the details.

“I’m not clear how the bicycles are dealt with,” Burroughs said.

Schoot Uiterkamp said that rumble strips and speed cushions are the best way to target cycling speed for the time being.

Europe has more effective ways to manage multiple traffic types, but they are costly and require a lot of replanning, he added.

“I don’t think small communities in Ontario are ready for that yet,” Schoot Uiterkamp said

Burroughs said that he also believes the changes will need some backing from police.

“I believe enforcement is a necessity,” he said.

Schoot Uiterkamp has been in contact with the police and Niagara Parks about enforcing road safety, but they are busy at this time of year, he said.

Niagara Regional Police Services also made a presentation during the meeting and discussed recent road safety implementations, including speed cameras at Crossroads and St. Davids public schools.


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