Council says yes to anti-speeding devices

In what was easily the shortest open portion of a Pelham Town Council meeting this year, members unanimously voted on August 24 to accept a staff report recommending the purchase of several traffic safety devices to be included in the 2021 capital budget.

The items include eight solar-powered flashing yellow warning lights intended to be placed along Effingham Street between Regional Roads 20 and 69, and two solar-powered “dynamic” speed display signs along the same route.

Speeding has been a concern on the rolling stretch of North Pelham roadway for several years, with council approving a reduction of the speed limit to 50 km/h last fall.

Four of the flashing lights are set to be installed to warn drivers of approaching intersections at Tice and Metler Roads. Four more will be installed to warn of sharp curves between Kilman and Sixteen Road, and between Oille Street and RR 69.

The popularity of the speed display signs, however, prompted two councillors to ask about adding more in other locations. Ward 3’s Lisa Haun requested that Public Works Director Jason Marr also consider stretches of Merritt, Port Robinson and Quaker Roads.

“We can take that back and look at options on those locations,” Marr said.

Ward 2’s Ron Kore asked about Haist Street north of Highway 20 and Lookout Street, prompting Marr to remind Kore that one of the Town’s existing portable speed displays was recently placed on Haist north of Brewerton.

The Public Works Director said the portable displays are better for lower-use roads, while higher-volume thoroughfares ideally would receive “a more permanent solution.”

He added that the placement of the displays is usually complaint-driven, and said that speeding data from the machines is collected and passed along to police for speed enforcement planning.

“Unfortunately, one of the downfalls with those signs is that when they are positioned, some people tend to use them as a game to see how fast they can get going,” Marr said.

As far as the flashing yellow lights go, the Town report estimates the cost at $14,400.

CAO, Fire Chief reports

Chief Administrative Officer David Cribbs provided a COVID-19 update, again reporting strong results from the midsummer openings of recreational amenities. He said the Town pool had seen 210 family rentals, 295 people in various lessons, 88 lane-swim pass purchases, and full weekly Zumba classes. As a result, the pool is scheduled to remain open for the entirety of the Labour Day weekend, rather than close on its traditional Friday before. Camps were also an apparent success, with 240 campers signed up through the end of this week.

“Lots of progress and lots of usage, and that’s what really the facilities are there for, the quality of life of residents,” Cribbs said.

The next stage of the Town’s plan is moving towards fall and winter amenities, including planning for basketball and the reopening of the walking track at the community centre.

Fire Chief and Chief Bylaw Enforcement Officer Bob Lymburner also gave a short COVID-19 status report, telling council that Pelham’s school crossing guards will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) by the Town when classes resume.

With the coronavirus caseload under apparent control in Niagara for now, he also highlighted the continued closure of the U.S. border to non-essential travel.

“Hopefully [it] remains closed for some time,” Lymburner said.

Councillors also passed bylaws regarding a Saffron Meadows East Fonthill subdivision agreement, and one allowing the delegation of authority to the Director of Community Planning and Development regarding condominium approval and the lifting of parking lot control.

Council then met in a closed session regarding a labour relations matter.

 

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