ugg type boots uk Another wrong step in the war of the roads
When Julie West first saw the 30 km/h speed limits signs popping up along one of the busiest commuter roads in her south Edmonton suburb this fall, she was flabbergasted.
thought, the heck did I miss this? said West, who is plugged into her community and civic politics as vice president of the Yellowbird Community League.
In fact, when West asked around her neighbourhood about the new limit on the collector road beside Kaskitayo Park, no one had seen or heard the city rationale.
Residents had long wanted traffic calming measures of some form on some residential streets in the area where drivers speed, West said, but no one had ever asked the city for a radically lower limit on the 50 km/h commuter road around the massive park, where there no playground equipment and children rarely play.
only times there are people in that field is for adult sports games, adult baseball or adult ultimate, said West, who has 10 year old twin boys. never child events there. The kids don play there at all.
is frustrating, she says of the new limit. you want to be the safe driver, when you have kids and you know there are other kids nearby and you want to drive safely, I wouldn have a problem driving 30, and I feel glad about it if I recognized it made sense. But driving around that great big field, particularly when it completely unused in winter, there nobody there, it just doesn make sense to go 30.
West isn alone in her frustration. During the civic election, the new 30 km/h zones were the biggest issues for suburban voters in his ward, said Coun. Michael Walters.
Indeed, the issue is the latest skirmish in Edmonton war of the roads, which often pits the interests of drivers, transit users, cyclists and pedestrians against one another.
The war is a new one. There was no real conflict for the many decades when cars were king and pedestrians were nervous.
For generations, suburbs were designed for a car lifestyle, with collector and arterial roads built for speed.
If someone like former councillor and environmental activist Tooker Gomberg advocated for cycling infrastructure, he was regarded as a radical, not a visionary.
And whenever any individual or group pushed council to bring in lower speed limits around schools, council rebuffed them, instead taking the advice of city transportation engineers who insisted there would be no increased safety with such a move, just increased driver frustration.
In the last 10 years, however, a coalition of pedestrians, mass transit users, cyclists, traffic safety officials and a majority on council have pushed back hard against the car centric establishment. They made some major and necessary improvements, but not without taking some missteps.
The overzealous creation of 30 km/h zones on hundreds of green spaces in residential neighbourhoods appears to be another.
This week, council approved a motion by Walters to take another look at these playground zones and perhaps have the 30 km/h limit only in places where there are actual children playing on playground equipment.
This is what Walters and other councillors thought they were approving in the first place.
was a misunderstanding about how broadly this was going to be defined by many on council, maybe not by all on council, Walters said. don see the logic in having long stretches of collector roads by under utilized or non utilized parks being 30 km/h. And this needs to lead into the longer term plan for speed management and traffic safety in Edmonton. Walters doesn want is the current zones remaining in places where they don belong, then aggressive photo radar enforcement being set up. Such a plan would breed cynicism about photo radar being used inappropriately to raise money, Walters said.
As for the longer term plan, Walters said evidence supports moving to as low as 30 km/h on residential streets, then to 50 or even 60 km/h on suburban collector roads, except in the vicinity of schools and playground equipment, and then to possibly higher speeds on arterial roads.
of those speeds could be increased in my view because they are designed for higher speed than they are currently signed at, he said.
Walters plan is a sound one. It going to be a battle to get lower residential limits as well as some higher collector and arterial speed limits, but that the good fight in this ongoing war.