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Budget committee curbs councillor's traffic-calming plan

Coun. Mason Ainsworth wanted city to put $50K toward reserve but couldn't get support from colleagues during budget deliberations
2020-06-11 Speed hump RB
This speed hump is an example of a traffic-calming measure. Raymond Bowe/Village Media

The city’s budget committee has denied a councillor’s request to create a traffic-calming reserve.

During Thursday’s meeting, Coun. Mason Ainsworth moved to create a reserve, with an initial contribution of $50,000, to be used for traffic-calming measures.

“We want to make sure we have the appropriate place to pull these funds from, which would be this reserve,” he said.

He and his fellow Ward 3 councillor, Jay Fallis, along with other council members, have heard concerns about speeding on various roads and felt a reserve would help improve certain areas when they are identified as a problem.

“It does address a real issue, not just in our ward but across the city,” Fallis said.

“It’s going to give us a lot more flexibility in terms of how we address this issue and where we address this issue.”

Coun. Tim Lauer voiced his opposition to the creation of a traffic-calming reserve.

“I haven’t got my head around what exactly we’re doing in regard to traffic calming,” he said.

“I haven’t seen a solution yet that makes me want to spend more money in this area.”

He said he wanted more details about traffic-calming plans before committing funding.

A reserve doesn’t equate to an expenditure, Ainsworth said, noting the money would only be used when deemed appropriate by council.

Ian Sugden, the city’s general manager of development services and engineering, said some traffic-calming measures can be funded from the roads reserve. The balance of that reserve is currently at about $30,000.

A motion to create the traffic-calming reserve with a $50,000 contribution was defeated by budget committee.

Thursday’s decision was made during the final day of operating budget deliberations. The capital budget will be discussed next week. All decisions require ratification at a special council meeting Dec. 6.