Garth Asham is councillor for Ward 1, and deputy Reeve of the RM of Portage, and is spreading the word about speed readers that the RM has set up in a few of its communities. He weighs in on the value of these devices and notes community members are quite positive about the program.
Speed readers electronically gauge the speed at which drivers are traveling and displays it to inform them as to whether or not they should slow down.
"We felt there was a need and the community felt there was a need for some kind of speed readers in the community to make it a little safer for foot traffic and just speeding in general," says Asham. "There's a lot of traffic that goes through each area, and this is in St. Ambroise and Poplar Point. So, we felt that adding these would let people recognize that they are speeding, hopefully, slow down, and drive to the area that they're in in terms of safety."
He explains they've received feedback from residents who say it's a really nice addition to the community.
"People are fairly happy that they have some community awareness of what goes on in terms of speeding through," continues Asham. "So, it seems to help with just the general feeling of, 'It's better for the community.'"
Asham says they initially considered rotating them to various locations in the communities.
"We have them now permanently located in St. Ambroise, Oakville, Poplar Point and High Bluff, and possibly Macdonald," adds Asham. "I'm not sure if they've been installed in Macdonald yet or not. Just hearing from community members, it's been very positive. Anything that makes the community a little safer, makes people a little more comfortable to go out on a walk, and feeling that they're being respected in the community, is better for the community."
He notes he understands that Hwy 26 is busy through Poplar Point. However, with the new renovations that have taken place in the beach at St. Ambroise, that community is very busy as well. Asham says the speed readers obviously have helped there.
"And High Bluff has a main road that goes right through, so it also helps there," continues Asham. "It's just a good, nice, and comfortable add for the community to know that the RM listens to their concerns for these types of safety concerns, and we help out."
Asham explains the program has made residents of the RM know that the council cares about what goes on in the community and they know the community cares about what goes on, too.
"Through both of us working together, we can accomplish things like this," notes Asham. "That's important."