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Wellesley eyes policy for assessing public requests for speed bumps, traffic-calming measures

Speeding motorists are a common enough concern for Wellesley residents living next to busy roadways. Reacting to public concerns, the township is looking at ways to assess calls for speed bumps.

“Township staff has received requests from residents to install speed bumps on residential streets and staff felt it was important to have a consistent method to determine when traffic-calming devices would be warranted,” explained Ryan Baker, a public works technician with the township who drafted the criteria, in an email. He added that the highest demand for speed bumps was on residential roads.

The criteria, which were backed by Wellesley councillors at last week’s meeting, have two main requirements that need to be passed before township staff will recommend installing a speed bump.

The first is a speeding requirement. If 15 per cent of the traffic on a busy road (500-plus cars a day) are going at least 5km/h above the speed limit, township staff will consider installing a speed bump. For less busy roads, if 15 per cent of the traffic is going 15km/h above the speed limit, the township will consider recommending adding a speed bump to slow them down.

The other half of the criteria focuses on the residents’ demands. The township will send out questionnaires to properties fronting the road, asking if they would support the speed bump. At least 50 per cent of the properties need to respond, and at least 50 per cent of those who respond also need to support the measure.

If both parts are met – too many cars are speeding on the road and at least half the property owners support a speed bump – the township will recommend installing a speed bump. Council will have the final say; but even if the criteria are not met, they will still be given a report by the township and can choose to approve a speed bump anyways.

According to Baker, the estimated cost to install a speed bump was $2,000 to $2,500.

Baker added the township would continue to look at other “traffic calming devices” for roads in the township as well.

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