Rolling Hills Drive getting a stop sign

June 17, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Improved safety is coming to Rolling Hills Drive.

Following a presentation from the Rolling Hills Drive Traffic Safety Committee, Orangeville Council unanimously approved a motion at their Monday (June 14) meeting to install a stop sign along the one kilometre stretch of road no later than Sept. 3, in time for the return to school.

Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh, who brought forward the motion, noted the importance of providing a safe crossing to the residents of Rolling Hills Drive, as the prior term of Council had rejected a crosswalk at Westside School after hearing a similar presentation and someone was struck there one month later.

“Lo and behold, a crosswalk was approved next meeting, so I don’t want to see that happen here,” Macintosh noted.

One of the main reasons why the Rolling Hills Drive Traffic Safety Committee says they require a stop sign is because there’s no designated place for pedestrians to cross except for the intersection at Highway 9.

The neighbourhood also is home to Headwaters Hospital, Rebecca Hill Park, stores, restaurants, and school bus stops, so lots of people are required to cross the street but have no safe place to do it.

The issue is worsened by the fact that some drivers are using Rolling Hills Drive as a bypass, according to Tracy Newman, member of the Rolling Hills Drive Traffic Safety Committee.

“Some of that traffic is coming into our neighbourhood to use the amenities that we have here, but some of the traffic that comes through our community does absolutely use McCannel and Rolling Hills to bypass going along Highway 10 and Highway 9 as their connector,” she explained.

Newman also noted that as development continues throughout Orangeville’s west end, the neighbourhood is seeing increased traffic.

And much of the traffic going through Rolling Hills Drive is travelling well above the posted speed limit of 40 km/h.

A portable speed radar sign was set up from March 28 until April 7 along Rolling Hills, capturing both directions of traffic, and recorded a median speed of 53 km/h, however, some vehicles were going more than twice as fast.

“Much to our shock, the highest recorded speed was actually somewhere between 131 to 140 kilometers and there were multiple speeds recorded between 71 to 80 kilometers, and 81 to 90 kilometers,” Newman noted. “So we know speeding is happening.”

In conversations with the OPP, the Rolling Hills Drive Traffic Safety Committee also learned that the portable speed radar sign acts as a traffic calming measure as well because of its visibility and the fact that it flashes when someone is going over the speed limit. Newman said they were told by the OPP that speeds are likely an average of 10 kilometers higher than what’s been recorded.

“So we’re looking at speeds that are more likely over the 60 kilometer per hour mark,” she explained.

A stop sign causes a break in a driver’s ability to gain speed because they are required to stop, so in addition to providing a safe crossing, it will help to slow down speeders, Newman said.

A petition for the stop sign, created by the Rolling Hills Drive Traffic Safety Committee, has garnered over 275 signatures on with 150 of them coming in within 48 hours of its posting.

“We did get some really interesting feedback and comments in the petition that we did,” said Newman. “Some of the things that have been reflected and captured in the petition, were comments like ‘I’ve always worried about my kids crossing Rolling Hills to get to the park. I was almost flattened by a Jeep that came up trying to turn left into the hospital, and it’s just really not a safe place.’”

She also noted that the stop sign would not interfere with emergency services or snow removal, whereas other measures like speed bumps could create problems.

Coun. Lisa Post lauded the traffic safety committee’s presentation and the level of detailed research they put into it before coming before Council.

Coun. Todd Taylor echoed her comments.

“It’s a very fact-based way that you approach things and any help that you can give other residential bodies within our town is greatly appreciated,” he said.

The stop sign is expected to cost between $500 and $1,000.

A sign warning of the new stop sign will be installed as well so drivers are aware.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.