By Mark Squibb / August 25, 2023
Residents of Trail End and surrounding streets in Paradise were surprised a few weeks back when a number of poles sprung up in the middle of the road apparently overnight.
The poles, which are about waist height and spaced across the street in such a way to allow just enough room for vehicles to pass by, appeared in three bunches along Trails End. About a week later they disappeared — but not for long. The Town had removed the poles so they could complete line-painting along Trail’s End and Milton Road, and once the line painting was completed, it doubled down on the poles by installing double the number.
Now, from one end of Trails End to the other, drivers must bypass six groups of the poles.
At least one pole shows obvious damage from being struck by a vehicle.
Councillor Glen Carew, noting the measures had been discussed at a recent engineering committee meeting, asked Tuesday whether the Town has a means of gauging the effectiveness of the barriers in slowing traffic.
Councillor Larry Vaters noted the committee had had a general discussion on the new measures, including complaints that had been brought forward by residents.
Chief administrative officer Lisa Niblock said black boxes have been installed along the street to gauge whether the poles in fact reduce speed.
“And if the speeds are reduced, we know the measures work, and if not, we know the measures didn’t work,” said Niblock.
Mayor Dan Bobbett said that, anecdotally at least, the measures are working.
“I’ve driven through those areas, and I can tell you that traffic is slowing down,” said Bobbett, who argued the poles work better than the speed bump that had previously been on Trails End. He added that placement of the poles and the space left for vehicles to pass through align with guidelines established by the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC)
Councillor Elizabeth Laurie added that if drivers obeyed the posted speed limits, there would be no need for traffic calming measures to begin with.
Councillor Patrick Martin agreed with Bobbett that traffic has slowed in the area. He noted that residents are often unhappy when such measures are installed in their neighbourhoods but urged them to allow some time to see if they work.