Safety changes are coming to the Waterdown road where 10-year-old Jasmin Hanif was struck by a vehicle and killed last month.
Jasmin’s father, Shakeel Hanif, made a passionate appeal to councillors at City Hall to “act now and save a life” on the increasingly busy road that was once classified rural, but is now full of residential homes.
He said the combination of chronic speeding and rural road-era lack of infrastructure — narrow lanes, deep ditches, no sidewalks or street lights — makes the road a “highway” instead of a residential road.
Waterdown Councillor Judi Partridge promised change is on the way, pointing to impending street lights — the poles are already up — and a plan to remove the road from the area’s official truck route.
City officials and police are also poised to meet with neighbourhood residents.
Partridge agreed with Hanif’s concern that booming Waterdown is already “crammed” with traffic, with another 6,000 or so homes expected to be constructed in the near future.
The day Jasmin was killed, traffic was backed up in one lane on Evans, in part because of an unrelated accident that had closed Hwy. 403.
The 10-year-old tried to cross the road and a motorist in the queue in one lane waved her through.
She was killed when she stepped in front of a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction in the far lane.
Hanif argued traffic on Evans “is always bad” and called for a reduction in the posted speed limit from 50 to 40 km/h as well as the addition of “children playing” signs.
The city expects new provincial legislation to soon allow Hamilton to create a default 40 km/h zones on all residential roads, rather than the current default of 50 km/h.
Photo radar in residential areas should also be legal by late 2017 and the city is studying the idea.
The traffic department will also install pedestrian warning signs, oversize speed limit reminders and use temporary electronic radar signs to show drivers how fast they are traveling.