By Mike Anderson
York Region Council passed a bylaw on September 23 that will see the speed limit on Warden Ave, between Ravenshoe Rd. and Baseline Rd., reduced from 80 to 70 km/h.
The section of Warden Ave. that runs through the hamlet of Belhaven, from Old Homestead Rd. to Bethel Sideroad, will remain at 50 km/h.
The move follows efforts by local residents to have the speed limit reduced on Warden Ave., due to safety concerns.
They argued that commuters and day-trippers were using Warden Ave. to bypass the traffic lights and rush-hour congestion on Woodbine Ave., often driving at speeds above 90 km/h on the narrow two-lane regional road.
Belhaven residents were also concerned that the 80 km/h speed limit did not allow motorists enough time to reduce their speed before entering the hamlet’s 50 km/h speed zone.
They say speeding vehicles pose a serious risk to residents walking along the narrow shoulders or pulling out of their driveways.
They also noted that there was no consistency in speed limits, as the two roads parallel to Warden Ave., Kennedy and McCowan, were both 70 km/h, and Warden Ave. in East Gwillimbury was also 70 km/h.
John Munro, whose farm is located on Warden Ave., near Lockie Sideroad, just north of the hamlet of Belhaven, is pleased with the decision.
“I’m amazed that a regular citizen can make a change because the government can do whatever the hell they want, whenever the hell they want, they don’t report to anybody,” said Munro, who had previously lobbied Georgina Council and the Region to reduce the speed limit.
He believes the Region’s decision is proof you can fight city hall and win.
“If we make enough noise, we’ll get noticed,” he said.
According to a spokesperson from the Region, road crews will replace the 80 km/h speed limit signs on Warden Ave. with 70 km/h signs on Friday, September 24.
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