Issues in Ward Two
As a stable residential area, Ward Two has issues newer neighbourhoods haven't experienced. Below is a list of common issues residents have highlighted. All need action and ongoing attention.
Better Control of Infill DevelopmentInfill developments by developers as well as private home builders have had serious effects on the stable residential neighbourhoods in Ward 2. Housing styles have changed noticeably in the past two decades and as a result more homes are being built that take advantage of the full range of metrics permitted by current by-laws. The result is larger homes with more massing that are higher and closer to the side and rear property lines. The cumulative effect can have unpleasant effects on adjacent neighbours and cause changes to the grading of land, the water table and more.
Recently, Town of Oakville staff have undertaken a variety of neighbourhood studies to assess and consider the factors that create the defining character of local areas. Armed with this information, they will return to Council with recommendations of how new guidelines or possible changes to by-laws could serve as further protection for stable residential neighbourhoods. These changes, will help, but more needs to be done.
Aggressive Driving in Residential NeighbourhoodsIn 2009, Safe Kids Canada published a paper on speeding and the direct correlation between an increase in vehicle speeds and the increase of the risk of injury. It noted A pedestrian struck by a car traveling at 50 km/hr is eight times more likely to be killed than a pedestrian struck at 30 km/hr. and even small reductions in speed can be significant. For each 1.6 km/hr reduction in average speed, collision frequency is reduced by five per cent. Reducing vehicle speed has been proven to be effective in preventing crashes and reducing the severity of injuries. At a speed of 30km/hr, vehicles and pedestrians are able to co-exist with relative safety, which means that drivers have sufficient time to stop for pedestrians, and pedestrians can make better crossing decisions. Read the Report Here.
In 2016, the City of Calgary undertook a study aimed at investigating approaches to reducing vehicle travel speeds in residential areas, and developing an implementation plan for an approved approach. Known as STEP FORWARD, the program was an action plan to outline how Calgary could create a better quality pedestrian environment. The study recommended an overall reduction of the 50 kph speed limit to 40 kph on all residential streets and a further reduction to 30 kph in school and safety zones. Calgary also offers a Community Speed Watch Program which allows residents and community groups to volunteer their time to increase awareness about speed in their communities.
Is speeding or aggressive driving an issue in your neighbourhood? What programs should we consider adopting for Ward 2? Cathy would like to hear your comments.
InfrastructureAccording to Places to Grow, the Province of Ontario's growth plan, the Region of Halton’s population is mandated to reach 780,000 by 2031. Water, wastewater and regional roads as well as provincially funded infrastructure such as schools and hospitals will be needed for the growing population. Growth does not fully pay for itself and enhanced funding mechanisms need to be considered.
In addition, as systems grow, significant maintenance pressures will need to be addressed through sustainable financing plans.
In terms of stormwater control, Ontario.ca notes the following with … Many forms of infill development can be more intensive than previous uses and have higher levels of imperviousness (e.g., more pavement), runoff rates, and contaminant loading per unit of area. In many cases, areas surrounding the new infill development were built before the need for stormwater controls was recognized and are already experiencing stormwater management problems. Although the development of single, individual infill sites may not have significant impacts, the development of many individual sites can have cumulative effects and exacerbate or create problems at the subwatershed and watershed level including flooding, erosion, or water quality degradation.
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