A safety review sparked by the death of a student near St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School last January has led to a number of roadway improvements along Upper Paradise between Stone Church and Rymal Roads.
Three levels of recommendations by third-party consultants the True North Safety Group were updated at a city hall committee Tuesday with some short-term fixes like sidewalk repairs and alterations in the way traffic moves to and from the school property completed.
More longer-term measures expected over several years will include adding a pedestrian signal and resurfacing parts of the corridor.
Public works director of transportation Carolyn Ryall told councillors longer-term plans also include complete road reconstruction, separated bike lanes and a lower speed limit.
“A lot of those smaller pieces of work have already been completed,” Ryall said.
“When we move into the medium and the longer term, those require a little bit more capital. They require a lot more technical resolution behind them, often design work.”
A fatal hit-and-run collision on Upper Paradise at Kordun Street in early January that killed a 15-year-old who was walking home from St. Thomas More was a catalyst in the area improvements.
Hamilton police charged another 15-year-old, who was driving a Dodge Caliber, with failing to remain at the scene.
During Monday’s public works meeting, Ward 4 Coun. Mike Spadafora stressed to staff that his constituents have been eager to see the improvements as soon as possible.
Ward 12 Coun. Craig Cassar, who recently had been tasked with reviewing pedestrian and bike safety, stressed the complexity of the one-kilometre stretch of Upper Paradise that has eight intersections and 27 driveways.
He suggested more emphasis on planning around the “action of cars” since the report revealed that a 50-kilometre-per-hour speed limit across the thoroughfare equates to a 72-second window to get from either end of Stone Church and Rymal roads to the other.
The number grows to just 90 seconds when the 40-kilometre-per-hour school zone reductions are in effect.
“Every kilometre that you come down in speed is a collision less likely to happen, is much less dangerous,” Cassar said, quoting city road data.
Ryall told councillors reclassification of the roadway is something on the agenda in the long term and that a speed reduction will also be a part of that work.
She went on to say that automated speed enforcement is also a tool that will be looked at to change driver behaviour.
“That is something we will be looking to use out in this area if we don’t already currently,” she said.
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