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Traffic-calming measures coming to Barnswallow Dr.

A slate of traffic-calming measures is planned for Elmira’s Barnswallow Drive, where officials worry about pedestrian safety.

Lane width reductions, more school crossings, additional trees on the boulevard and a new sidewalk are among the steps recommended in a report presented Tuesday night to Woolwich councillors.

A wide, open space on stretches of Barnswallow Drive, as well as Whippoorwill Drive, encourages drivers to speed, said director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley.

Traffic studies show 20 per cent of drivers travelling northbound on Barnswallow exceed the speed limit.
Southbound, that number is 14 per cent. On Whippoorwill, 55 per cent of eastbound drivers travel above the posted limit, as do 25 per cent of those heading west.

Along with the measures to slow traffic, the township will be asking Waterloo Regional Police to step up enforcement in the area.

Other changes proposed include the prohibition of parking on the east side of Barnswallow Drive opposite the Leisureworld Caregiving Centre. The township has a longstanding issue with overflow parking spilling off the Leisureworld site and on to the both sides of the roadway.  Noting that history, Coun. Ruby Weber suggested a ban on all such parking on both sides of the street.

Acknowledging that parking there does create a hazard for pedestrians, Kennaley said the cars on the road do provide some traffic-calming benefits.

Coun. Mark Bauman added the township needs to ensure there is no parking near crosswalks, as the cars could provide a visual obstruction to children trying to cross the street.

While the report recommended extending a sidewalk along the west side of Barnswallow from Leisureworld to Woodside Bible Fellowship, councillors suggested it should run all the way to Lions Park.

The measures identified in the report come with a price tag of approximately $48,000.

No definitive timeline has been establishd for the work, which will be part of the 2011 budget deliberations.

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