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Speed limits to drop in zones around rural schools

The speed limit will drop around four rural schools in Woolwich, a safety measure that will come into effect this fall.

Portions of Scotch Line, Jigs Hollow, Martin Creek and Spitzig roads will see speed reduced to 60 km/h, with school zone signs posted accordingly. The move approved August 5 by Woolwich council affects the New Jerusalem, Winterbourne and East Heidelberg parochial schools, along with Woodland Christian High School.

The changes came as a result of a review of traffic and speed counts adjacent to the schools, following up on similar reductions made last year on Three Bridges Road, reported director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley.

The township is talking to the Region of Waterloo about a zone around the parochial school on Katherine Street, and a future study is in the works for Floradale Road.

The New Jerusalem parochial school will see the speed limit on Scotch Line Road drop to 60 km/h from 80 km/h some 200 metres west of the New Jerusalem Road intersection.

A traffic count in 2013 on Scotch Line Road between New Jerusalem Road and Northfield Drive pegged the average daily traffic of 208 vehicles, with the 85th percentile speed (the standard measure of  the speed that no more than 15 per cent of traffic is exceeding) registered at 87.5 km/h. On the stretch of Scotch Line between New Jerusalem Road and Arthur Street, the numbers were 58 vehicles per day, and a speed of 53 km/h.

A traffic count in 2009 showed 1,707 vehicles per day on New Jerusalem road., with an 85th percentile speed of 102 km/h.

Around the Winterbourne parochial school on Jigs Hollow Road, a 2009 traffic study found 216 vehicles travelled the road daily,  though no speed data were collected. Safety concerns surrounding the potential for increased truck traffic due to a nearby gravel pit was part of the decision to reduce the speed limit.

For East Heidelberg School, a count on Martin Creek Road in 2013 showed 249 vehicles per day, hitting an 85th percentile speed of 84 km/h. That was the same speed as found in the vicinity of Woodland Christian High School, though Spitzig Road handled 1,186 vehicles.

In supporting the changes, Coun. Mark Bauman stressed the key to making a difference is to have police step up enforcement in the new zones.

A little more local for your inbox.

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