Unique local community desperate to slow speeders
BEACHVILLE, ONT. -- Just about every small community, or neighbourhood in a larger centre, could claim speeding drivers pose a safety concern.
But residents in Beachville, a hamlet situated between Woodstock and Ingersoll, are correct to argue their situation is somewhat unique.
The community runs for four kilometres along a stretch of road (Beachville Road) between Ingersoll and Woodstock.
What is interesting - save for very few exceptions - is it has no side streets. That leaves residents on foot forced to dodge traffic to get around.
Yet Beachville’s main street is driven on by thousands of commuters each day. Most are passing through to avoid HIghway 401.
South-West Oxford Mayor Dave Mayberry welcomes their decision, but he's frustrated many drivers are exceeding the limit of 50 km/h in-town.
“The average speed is not 50 where it is posted but actually closer to the mid-60s, so we are looking at ways to resolve that issue.”
It can’t come soon enough for residents like Maisy Spice.
“They tend to go a lot faster and it worries me because there is a lot of young kids who live here.”
An interesting comment from a 17-year-old, who not many years ago was a kid here herself.
“I was always raised to look both ways before I crossed the road. So I always waited. But I know there are many kids who are excited to play with their friends so they don’t really wait.”
It’s the kids that has Mayberry committed to finding a solution.
“What we don’t want is to have a fatality or some kind of tragic accident where we could have done something to prevent it.”
Mayberry says township and county governments are working to find solutions that work for both residents and motorists.
There are numerous ideas on the list, including a pending bylaw, which will extend the 50 km/h limit on both sides of town.
Another is electric signs, posting the actual speed of motorists, set up not far from the relocated speed limit signs.
“Over the next few months, the township will be looking to see if they were effective. Did they slow speed down or did people just speed right by them? Or, were they effective in the beginning and then over time people just went back to old habits.”
And if that happens, Mayberry says more hefty measures, including the implementation of photo radar ticketing could be considered.
“Being proactive is better than reactive and that is where we always want to be.”