Too fast, too dangerous: Dartmouth man says speeding vehicles are putting neighbourhood in danger

A Dartmouth man is sounding the alarm about vehicles speeding in his neighbourhood.

Portland Street stands between Brian MacAulay’s Dartmouth home and a hill that leads to a park.

But MacAulay says speeding vehicles have made it too dangerous for his teenage son to cross Portland Street, even in a crosswalk.

“It gets silly,” says MacAulay. “People will actually drive their kids up to school, or to soccer practice, rather than simply letting them walk across the road and up the hill.”

MacAulay says many drivers speed through the intersection much faster than the 50 km/h speed limit.

“It sounds extreme, but if you were to stand here and watch traffic for any length of time, people are preoccupied, they’re driving too fast, they’re driving too close,” says MacAulay. “At night, it’s very, very common to hear racing happening here.”

The intersection along Portland Street came under the microscope this May, after a crash that killed a five-year-old boy.

Police have not said what caused the fatal collision, and the city has started a safety review.

MacAulay says he doesn’t wish to speculate on what caused the crash and is waiting to hear all of the facts, but says safety is a serious concern in the area.

“It’s not anybody’s fault, but we’re now in the situation we’re in, so how can the city and city services best deal with the problems we’ve got?” asks MacAulay.

The councillor representing MacAulay’s neighbourhood says a plan to make Portland Street safer has already begun, and now sits with designers.

“Portland Street does have approval for a functional plan,” says Becky Kent, councillor for District 3, Dartmouth South – Eastern Passage.

“That will go back and forth between the staff, and the public, and the designer, to get what we feel is right, and then there will be a presentation to council that can still take a while.”

Halifax Regional Police have been publicizing when they ticket drivers for stunting and speeding, and MacAulay says he would like to see more police patrolling vehicles in his neighbourhood.

“The enforcement here is minimal at best, and the behavior of the road users here really puts everyone at risk,” says MacAulay.

MacAulay says he has reached out to police, and received an email response that police were working with the traffic unit to be proactive.