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Speeding in core more perception than reality, analysis finds

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Speeding concerns expressed by downtown Elmira merchants are more perception than reality, according to monitoring data acquired by the township.

In response to issues raised by Coun. Patrick Merlihan, director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley looked at past traffic studies and asked the Region of Waterloo to provide new information, as Arthur Street is a regional road. Some existing data showed “speeding is not a significant concern,” but he wanted to see information specific to the core. The region carried out monitoring for a 24-hour period on August 12.

That study showed traffic typically moved at speeds well under the 50 km/h posted limit. The average speed for the 10,121 vehicles that passed through the core during the monitoring period was 34 km/h. The information was broken down into 15-minute intervals, in which the average speed never exceeded 50 km/h, he reported.

“More often than not, the perception is higher than the speed,” said Coun. Mark Bauman of the picture painted by the new data.

People’s impressions aren’t always accurate, but the public should bring its concerns to the township, Kennaley noted.

“There’s certainly no harm in checking.”

Through Coun. Scott Hahn, council’s representative on the Elmira Business Improvement Area (BIA), the township is seeking input from downtown merchants about their experience with traffic and speeding.

In the longer term, Woolwich will be looking for a bypass route to keep through-traffic, particularly trucks, out of the downtown core. Such a route has been on the agenda for many years, with the township not gaining much traction at regional level for the project. A few potential routes have been plotted, with the most viable likely one that runs on the east side of Elmira, connecting the Union and Arthur streets intersection in the south with an outlet near the future industrial development in the north at Kenning Place.

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