City Councillor Sean Menard is requesting that speed limits in the Glebe be lowered to 30 km/h, despite the provincial standard of 50 km/h for urban roads, and the Glebe’s already reduced limit of 40 km/h.
Now, I could go on here about how 30 km/h is absurdly slow; how it’s slower than many cyclists pedal through the Glebe; but I really want to talk about the critical issue, since other neighbourhoods in Ottawa (including mine) have been lowering speed limits.
Here it is: wasting money on signs and paint doesn’t do much if you’re not going to pay for enforcement. It is a well-documented fact that people (for the most part, there are always idiots) drive at the speed the road and conditions comfortably permit. You can put up 30 km/h signs until you’ve exhausted all the iron in all the asteroids, and people will still drive 40, 50, 60 km/h unless there are cops there to enforce the lower limit.
My first suggestion, therefore, is that taxes for people in the Glebe be raised to provide 24/7 enforcement on the new speed limit. Probably 1 police position and equipped duty car should do it, which means 5 officers (3 full time, 2 part time) and probably 2 new equipped police cars. At an average salary of about $90000 for the officers and about $100000 for the cars, an annual tax increase of about $400000 split among the Glebelings should cover it, plus a one-time levy of about $200000 for the purchase of cars, signs, and paint. Until the people of the Glebe, and councillor Menard are willing to do that, they should stop their self-righteous posturing about people speeding in the Glebe.
All that said, the Glebe is also rife with speed bumps – those annoying humps of ashphalt that slow down emergency vehicles, mess with snow plows, and are mildly annoying to cyclists. Since the bumps are all about safety, I’d like to bring back an idea that a friend of mine had. This idea will both improve safety and, since ostentatious displays of self-righteousness are all the rage in the Glebe, openly display your concern for the safety of the people of the Glebe:
TWO TOOTS FOR SAFETY!
That’s right… every time you’re in the Glebe and go over a speed bump – day or night, rain or shine, weekday or weekend, give two friendly taps on the horn to let people nearby know that a car is coming by and they should be careful. Nobody can say an evil car snuck up on them if you’ve been giving fair warning. You saw the video in driving school where the instructor reminds you to give a friendly warning tap on the horn. Obviously, Glebelings are seriously concerned about their safety and cars, so help them out. Two Toots for Safety! It’s good for everyone!
And because we know how much emergency vehicles and snow plows love speed bumps, they should do it too. Remember, safety is paramount and in the Glebe, cars are dangerous.