Coun. Marni Fedeyko gave notice at June 11 council that she will be bringing forward a motion next month looking to reduce speeding on residential streets.
The motion, which will be presented at the July 9 council meeting, looks to address residential areas where speed limits inconsistently go from 30 km/h to 50 km/h in between playgrounds and school zones, depending on time of the day.
Fedeyko said both she and Coun. Pat Wilson have been receiving feedback from the community expressing safety concerns for children on residential streets – citing specific areas such as Quigley Drive, Sunterra
Road, Riverview Drive, Fourth Avenue and First Street East.
The motion looks to administration to advise of any other areas of concern in the community and options to implement a speed reduction plan.
“Speeding through these areas continues to be a challenge and signage is confusing,” explained Fedeyko.
“There are residents who feel why change anything, but when you look at the amount of cars on the road both driving and parked coupled with drivers impatience, distraction and kids not paying attention, I don’t want a serious accident to happen.”
The Eagle reached out through social media, looking to connect with community moms concerned with speeding in their neighbourhoods.
The responses overwhelming revealed support for speed reduction and consistencies along many residential streets in town, including an overall sentiment that 50 km/h was simply too fast, that signage could be brighter or be more visible and that speed bumps would be largely welcomed.
Gill Cron is a mother of two who lives on Quigley Drive in the community of West Valley.
Cron is concerned that inconsistencies in her neighbourhood around school/playground zones cause driver confusion and put kids playing in these areas outside of school hours at greater risk.
“It needs to be consistent … 50 km/h is too fast, because 50 becomes 60.”
Shauna McGarvey, mom to seven-year-old, Finn, who lives in a cul-de-sac in Bow Meadow, said while the speed limit is 30 km/h in the cul-de-sac, it is still way too fast. She would rather see all residential areas in town at 30 km/h, with speed bumps to control speeders and a reduction to 20 km/h in cul-de-sacs.
“If people can’t slow down to 30 km/h, then put in a speed bump,” said McGarvey, adding that she witnesses drivers speeding far in excess of that along Bow Meadows Drive when she walks her son to the bus stop. “People don’t learn and behaviours don’t seem to change.”
Crystal Blanchard, a mom of two in Riversong, also maintains that speed bumps are the answer.
Blanchard lives on River Heights Drive and frequently has problems with people speeding in front of her home, accelerating as they drive up the hill from Riviera or gaining too much speed in the other direction.
“It feels more and more like I live on a freeway and not in a community,” said Blanchard, adding that she is constantly fearful for her two-year-old on her busy road.
While Blanchard has called bylaw many times to report driver offences, she has seen little resolve. She also feels photo radar is inefficient at speed reduction in areas where there are high concentrations of children.
For her, speed bumps seem to be one of the most cost-effective methods of speed reduction enforcement and she is seeking more information on the efficacy of speed bump installs in and around town.
Cochrane Heights is where mom of three, Samantha McCulloch lives and she says it is consistently plagued with speeders around the tri-schools area.
“We have no flashing lights … I’m not even sure people can see the school zone signs,” she said, adding the people are frequently speeding in 30 km/h zones at double the speed limit and more.
McCulloch would welcome various speed controls in her community, including speed bumps and flashing lights – controls that she is seeing in newer areas such as Fireside.
Residents with concerns related to speeding should report to the Cochrane RCMP. The non-emergency number is 402-932-2211.