City committee passes plan to reduce speed limit in areas of downtown London

London politicians are moving ahead with plans to reduce the speed limit in parts of the downtown area while also pumping the brakes on future plans to implement photo radar.

On Tuesday, the civic works committee voted in favour of reducing the speed limit to 30 kilometres per hour along Dundas Place, London’s new pedestrian-friendly flex street in the downtown core.

City council has already approved a plan to reduce speed limits to 40 kilometres per hour on all residential streets. That is set to happen in phases after councillors decided to back a staff motion to slow down the implementation of photo radar.

This follows a decision at the provincial level to make changes to legislation allowing municipalities to use photo radar. London had planned on using five photo radar cameras in the city, however the committee voted on Tuesday to wait for clarity from the province.

If approved by full council, this would put London’s plans for photo radar on hold for at least a year.

Also at the civic works committee meeting on Tuesday, members decided a proposal from Coun. Steve Hillier to make homeowners responsible for clearing the sidewalks in front of their homes won’t be moving forward, at least for now.

Hillier tabled a letter at the meeting asking for homeowners to be ticketed if they don’t clear the area in front of their property. He cited concerns of accessibility for Londoners with mobility issues and said that if snowfall amounts on consecutive days don’t meet the threshold for city clearing, the snow will accumulate.

Bylaw staff noted that implementing such a policy would eat up a lot of enforcement resources.

Councillors said they could come back and look at the idea in the future.

A city committee voted in favour of a proposal to cancel plans for a sidewalk on Camden Crescent in north London and Fox Mill Place in west London.

The original plan was to install sidewalks following water main replacement, but residents have objected to the plan, as it would require dozens of mature trees to be cut down.

Committee members were unanimously in favour of nixing the plans for a sidewalk on Camden Crescent and voted 5-1 in favour of scrapping a planned sidewalk on Fox Mill Place.

Ward 5 Coun. Maureen Cassidy questioned whether it was the right move for the residents of Fox Mill Place, as the street is part of a walk-to-school route for kids.

A final decision will be made by full council on March 24.

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