A pair of electronic speed monitoring signs have just gone up along Highway 5 by the east and west access roads to the village of Muenster. The signs are currently set to monitor speed and alert drivers when they breach the 100 km per hour speed limit. That may change soon as the village has made an application to the Ministry of Highways for a speed limit of 70 km per hour in the access zone. The request has been undergoing review for over a year, but a spokesperson from the Ministry says that a decision on the requested speed reduction could be coming soon.
“The Village of Muenster put in our initial request in February of 2021 for the speed reduction in the zone adjacent to Muenster,” explains Village Administrator Jan Sylvestre.
The request is based on a concern for safety of the residents of Muenster and motorists along the highly travelled corridor, says Sylvestre. Part of the concern is borne of increased residential and commercial development near the village, along with the prospect of even more building construction.
“With the number of small acreages coming up around Highway 5, there’s more traffic onto and off the highway than there has been previously. With commercial development just to the north of Highway 5 in Muenster, there’s a lot more traffic coming and going.”
While turning lanes were a welcome addition several years ago, the increased number of northbound turns off Highway at College Avenue and traffic turning from the north onto the highway means there is more chance of collision at the intersection. There is also occasional pedestrian traffic from the north side across the highway to the bulk of the village.
Another issue Sylvestre notes is the proximity to the junction of Highway 368 which carries traffic to and from Lake Lenore and St. Brieux.
“It’s close to the intersection of Highway 368 where the landscape provides a bit of a rise in the sightline. Traffic travelling westbound is coming up a hill, and then they intersect with College Avenue.”
All of these factors combined prompted the request to the Ministry for the speed reduction. The speed signs were obtained through SGI’s Traffic Fund. The $9500 grant awarded to the Village allowed for the purchase of 3 speed signs, the two posted on Highway 5 and one more on College Avenue in Muenster itself. The Ministry of Highways issued an installation permit to the RM for the signs to be placed.
As for the status of the speed zone request, representatives from the Ministry noted that it is still under review, but a decision is expected shortly. Steve Shaheen, senior communications manager for the Ministry indicated that if the request is approved, it could go into effect as early as this fall. He says that a final determination has yet to be made, but once it’s been either approved or denied, the Ministry would communicate its decision directly to the urban municipality.