At the City’s Transportation Committee this week recommendations were made to establish a processing centre in Ottawa for automated speed enforcement (ASE) camera infractions.
Processing speed camera charges in Ottawa would give the City more control over how quickly tickets could be issued, establishing a more effective deterrent to dangerous driving and helping change driver behaviour. It would also increase the revenues the City collects from speed camera charges – funds that are reinvested in road safety programs.
At present, infractions from Ottawa and other Ontario municipalities are processed through a City of Toronto processing center, but the growth of ASE programs in the province has compromised Toronto’s ability to process charges within 23 days, after which charges do not result in formal infractions. In 2022, Toronto only processed two thirds of Ottawa incidents, and for 2023, they have capped the number of Ottawa infractions they will process at 250,000 – less than 40 per cent of projected charges.
By ensuring more infractions are processed on time, an Ottawa-based centre would support the ASE program’s goals of increasing speed compliance where cameras are installed and changing driver behaviour over time. Additionally, if processing were done in Ottawa in 2024, gross revenues are projected to be nearly $66 million – about four times more than if processing were done in Toronto with the existing cap still in place.
One-time start-up costs for the Ottawa processing centre are estimated at $2.4 million and would pay for facility retrofits, equipment, staff training and positions. Funding would come from the City’s Road Safety Reserve Fund. Toronto would continue to process infractions from Ottawa until the new processing centre is in full operation at the beginning of 2024.
The Committee also recommended that Council receive a revised functional design for the Barrhaven LRT between Knoxdale Road and West Hunt Club Road. Council approved a revised alignment for this portion of the LRT system in June 2022, shifting the LRT from the west side of Woodroffe Avenue to the centre. In addition to the elevated corridor in the median of Woodroffe Avenue, the revised functional design includes gentler curves to reduce noise and improve rider comfort, and removes bus-only lanes. This section of Woodroffe would be rebuilt as a complete street with cycle tracks on both sides and protected intersections at all five affected intersections.
The Committee approved the recommended plan and functional design to widen Huntmar Drive between Campeau Drive and Maple Grove Road, and to extend Stittsville Main Street between Maple Grove Road and Robert Grant Avenue. Both projects would be complete streets that connect communities and address forecasted travel demand to 2046. Projects include new active transportation facilities such as segregated cycle tracks and wide sidewalks, improved bus stop locations and amenities, new and improved intersections and barrier-free access for all users.
Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, May 10.