Erin council wants enforceable speed limits

ERIN – Proposed changes to Erin’s speed bylaw and signs are designed to ensure all speed limits will be enforceable.

On Dec. 18 road superintendent Greg Delfosse presented a review of the limits and a list of bylaw amendments and sign changes.

Councillors were supportive, but the vote was delayed while staff investigate a suggestion from councillor John Brennan to resolve an issue with default speed limits in urban areas.

The provincial Highway Traffic Act (HTA) sets the default at 50km/h in built-up areas and 80km/h in rural areas. Municipalities can apply lower limits, but there must be signage to inform drivers.

Council previously set the urban limit at 40 and the rural limit at 60, unless signed otherwise. There are signs for 40 along Main Street in Erin village, but not on the side streets.

“With the town not having posted the speed on every street, the Highway Traffic Act governs and the 40 kilometre per hour speed became unenforceable,” said Delfosse.

Brennan asked if there could be signs at the entrances to the villages and hamlets, informing drivers that Erin’s default limit is 40 in urban areas.

This would reduce costs since it would require far fewer signs. Delfosse is to report back to council on that option.

“We need to be consistent,” said Mayor Allan Alls. “Enforcement is the OPP’s purview. We can advise them that we’re having problems or complaints from residents, and they have sent cars out, but they can only do so much.”

There are 87 road segments for which the bylaw sets the limit at 40, and which Delfosse was proposing to delete from the bylaw, allowing them to revert to the HTA maximum of 50. The urban boundary signs proposed by Brennan would re-set them at 40.

The speed bylaw was amended in 2014 in the 2010-2014 council term at the recommendation of previous road superintendent Larry Van Wyck. 

The issue of inaccurate signs was not dealt with during the 2014-2018 council term.

In some cases, such as the lowering of the limit from 80 to 60 on 9th Line south of Erin village to Wellington Road 42, the town never changed the speed signs, making the bylaw unenforceable on that road. That section will soon get new signs for a limit of 60. 

Other areas where inaccurate signs will be replaced in order to conform to the bylaw are: sections of 2nd Line south of Wellington Road 22, changing from 80 to 60; a section of 5th Line from Cedar Valley to Wellington Road 22, changing from 40 to 60; and Sideroad 17, from Trafalgar Road to Wellington Road 23, changing from 50 to 60.

There are other areas where both the bylaw and the signs will change: 2nd Line from Sideroad 27 to Wellington Road 22, changing to 60; 2nd Line from Anderson Close to Wellington Road 124, changing to 50; 8th Line from Sideroad 17 to Dundas St. W., changing to 50; and the Erin/East Garafraxa Townline, from 2nd Line to 400 metres west of 3rd Line, changing to 60.

There are 15 road segments where the sign shows the desired speed, even though a different speed is listed in the bylaw. 

In these cases, the bylaw will be amended to match the signs.

This situation applies to sections of Erin/Eramosa Townline, 5th Line, 6th Line, 8th Line, 9th Line, 10th Line, Sideroad 15, Sideroad 24, Sideroad 27, Dundas St. E. and Orangeville St. 

For more details, see the speed limit review table starting at page 23 of the Dec. 18 agenda, at