aerial map

Photo by Brian Shypula, Brant News
An aerial map of the Viscount Road area is shown.

More than 30 residents of a Brantwood Park-area neighbourhood voiced complaints about chronic speeding, parking, congestion and sightlines on Thursday night.

Most of the focus was on Viscount Road, which connects in two spots with Brantwood Park Road between Dunsdon Street and Powerline Road. The curvy street serves residents of Beaver, White Owl, Coxwell, Childerhose and Anastasia crescents.

“Really, how do we create a culture in the neighbourhood of respecting people on the street, other drivers, the sensitivity of the neighbourhood,” said resident Bruce Leslie.

“I don’t pretend to have answers, it’s a contentious issue,” said Coun. Cheryl Antoski, who called the meeting held at the Branlyn Community Centre.

Antoski said the assumption is most of the speeding and parking problems are committed by residents of the neighbourhood, since Viscount does not connect with main roads.

Warrant studies undertaken by the city have not supported stop signs on Viscount, Antoski said.

Damon Smith, a former safe driving instructor with the TTC and Go Transit, said speed is the main culprit on Viscount. Coupled with parked vehicles on both sides of Viscount, it’s a dangerous situation for children crossing the street and cyclists.

“Something’s got to be done,” he said.

Coxwell Street resident Renee Stewart said she fears for the safety of children living on her street.

“I’m telling you to do something about it before there is a bloody accident,” she said.

“The No. 1 issue through the whole city is speeding in residential neighbourhoods,” said Coun. Richard Carpenter, who also attended the Ward 4 meeting.

One resident questioned why Brantford police don’t step up enforcement.

“If they (drivers) are caught a number of times they might stop,” she said.

Carpenter said having well-paid officers write traffic tickets isn’t the best use of police resources, plus revenue goes to police, not the city.

Other concerns raised included the ability of emergency vehicles to make it down the crowded Viscount and on-street parking hindering snow plowing.

Although most driveways can hold two vehicles, many residents leave one on the street to avoid “shuffling” vehicles.

“What if you take away overnight parking,” said one resident.

Residents on Coxwell and Anastasia worried changes to Viscount could push overflow parking onto their streets.

“Everybody needs to be open to a change,” said Dave Seeley, who lives on Viscount.

“What if you make (Viscount) one way?” he said.

Coupled with strategic four-way stop signs on Viscount and taking away parking on one side of the road, making the street one-way would solve issues with speed and parking, he added.

The idea struck a chord with the audience.

Antoski and Carpenter said they would prepare a flyer encouraging residents to be good traffic neighbours. It would include concerns raised at the meeting and some of the solutions discussed.

Meantime, city staff will begin a study, including potential for making Viscount one-way, aimed at addressing the neighbourhood’s concerns.

Ting Ku, manager of transportation and parking services, said the study would start with the southernmost section of Viscount, which was generally agreed upon as the most troublesome section of road.

“I think it’s really important that you showed up tonight,” Antoski said to the residents. “It helps us help you.”

Ku said a full study would take until early 2016 to complete.

Source: Brant News