The banner was installed on Stonegate Drive after a successful move by Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc during the July Operations Committee meeting
A small sign is causing quite a stir in the Stonegate Drive neighborhood.
A sign prohibiting turning left toward Beatrice Crescent from Stonegate Drive was installed earlier this summer, and a petition is now being organized calling for the city to remove it immediately.
The petition’s organizer, Agnes Beck, said she plans to order any of the Ward 11 Couns. Bill Leduc or Mayor Brian Biger to present to the City Council during the September 13 meeting.
“Since it calms traffic, it’s not a solution,” she said of the sign. “It makes no sense at all.”
She said Stonegate Drive is as viable a route to the area’s amenities as any other.
“Added traffic is acceptable, but only if we all share the burden of getting everyone to their destination,” according to her petitions. “The installation of a left no-turn signal from Stonegate to Beatrice creates a private street off a taxpayer-funded road. The decision must be reversed.”
The offending sign came as a result of persistent concerns from area residents about traffic volume and speed along Stonegate Drive – a short stretch of road in a residential neighborhood that connects Atley Street with Beatrice Crescent.
In May, Leduc referred the case to a community meeting, where he hand-delivered invitations to area residents. At the meeting, attendees voted on options for calming traffic, and settled on the sign that forbids turning left.
Leduc consulted with the city administration and presented the option to the City Operations Committee on July 11, where he was a 12-state ward. Joscelyn Landry-Altmann commented on a modification in which the banner would be installed as a one-year pilot project.
She said the hope is to see how well the sign is working and to assess whether this approach might be appropriate for other areas of the city.
The pilot program is just getting started, but some area residents are already classing it as a failure.
During the nearly 15 minutes Sudbury.com spent at the intersection with area residents on Wednesday, several cars were seen turning left at the intersection despite a visible sign prohibiting the turn.
A left turn of the vehicle resulted in a southbound vehicle in Beatrice Crescent having to stop, although there was no stop sign, to allow it to proceed. To the right of the turning car was a group of trees that made it impossible to see southbound vehicles until you were halfway to Beatrice Crescent.
In addition to her criticism of the label, Beck said the public consultation process at Leduc was missing, with only a few select people invited.
Leduc agrees with that idea, explaining that he targeted those who were directly affected by the volume of traffic and speed at that site due to COVID-related concerns limiting the size of the group he was able to host.
“You can’t put everyone under one roof during COVID, it’s very unfortunate,” he told Sudbury.com.
Although affected by the general flow of traffic nearby, Beck resides a few blocks away in Beatrice Crescent.
An area resident who lives on Stonegate Drive and was invited to a Leduc community meeting told Sudbury.com he appreciated the attention Leduc brought to the street, but the sign forbidding left turns didn’t resolve matters.
“It makes no difference,” said the resident, whose first name was Dan, and asked that his last name not be used. “People pass quickly and don’t stop.”
A 21-year-old street resident said traffic concerns persist and speed bumps would be the perfect solution.
During a July 11 Operations Committee meeting, Joe Rocca, the city’s superintendent of traffic and asset management, explained that Stonegate Drive is number 34 on the city’s traffic calming priority streets list. As the city budgets for one-street-traffic-calming infrastructure per year, it would take 34 years for Stonegate Drive to be tackled.
Roca said nearly 60 percent of the traffic on Stonegate Drive penetrates the area, including those who were on their way to Adanac Ski Hill and the area’s football fields. That, instead of proceeding on Atley Avenue and turning down Beatrice Crescent, Solway Drive, or Hawthorne Drive.
Leduc said he plans to file an anti-signature petition from area residents to the city council on September 13 if it is submitted to it, as he does with any petition. This is similar to the way he presented the view of some residents in favor of signing up to the Operations Committee in July, he said.
As it stands, employees monitor the pilot for one year to determine its effectiveness.
He said the goal is to make the area safer for the residents of the area.
“Like everyone else, they want to be able to play within their area, and that sometimes means playing in the street, and we want to create a safer environment for these kids so that we don’t have cars on the road.”
The sign forbidding left-turning is one of several traffic calming measures the city council has introduced in recent months, which has fueled Safety Studies and Statistics compiled by the city administration.
a Maximum speed 40 km/h In a neighborhood pilot program, Automatic speed traps It can be introduced as early as next year, Six red light cameras Currently in testing and ticketing will start soon Traffic calming barriers It is being installed along 10 streets this year.
Tyler Clark covers City Council and Politics for Sudbury.com.