KAWARTHA LAKES: The long journey to lowering the speed limits on local streets to 40 km/h took another step forward, with councillors requesting that the measure move to 2020 municipal budget discussions.

During their regular council meeting on Tuesday, July 16th, City staff brought forward a comprehensive report on local speed limits. Councillors opted for the second of four options given: enforcing municipal-wide community speed zones at 40 km/h.

As well, the motion sought to have the City’s communications department produce an educational program that will also be part of budget discussions this fall.

Should the option be approved in the 2020 budget, the speed limit in certain areas would be reduced by 10 km/h. The Highway Traffic Act allows for limited and specific signage at entrances and exits of the designated areas.

“This has been an ongoing concern,” stated Ward 3 Councillor Pat Dunn. “I elected to go with the entire package, because people in Bethany and Woodville are just as entitled to protection as people in Lindsay.”

Councillor Dunn, a former police officer, drew parallels between this measure and the introduction of seatbelts to cars when he was a member of the force.

“You hardly know anybody nowadays that doesn’t wear a seatbelt, and it’ll be the same as this… people will learn to drive 40.”

Mayor Andy Letham noted that, if approved, the project is expected to be implemented in stages throughout the City.

“We’re not expecting every sign to be up in January 2020,” the mayor commented. “We’ll pick certain areas and where it’s realistic and roll out the communication and roll out the phase-in of what it is we’re trying to do.”

Through budget discussions, councillors are also expected to weigh the options for replacing speed limit signs and wether to contract out the work, or tackle it with the City’s public works department.