One thing I love about talking with community members is that I learn of all the issues that they have been trying to get their Councillor to fix for years. Too often I hear of how they have been stonewalled. I am going to bring up two examples and explain what should be done. The first one impacts the Lions Village on Castle Downs Road and the second one impacts Extendicare in Eaux Claires; both impact the quality of life for seniors. But first, I will remind you of what I previously wrote regarding School Zones.
School Zones (To Protect Children)
Recently, the City of Edmonton has done a lot around schools to increase safety for students. Elsewhere, I have argued that the City has somewhat missed the point on School Zones. Speed is generally not the issue rather driver frustration in gridlock conditions is the source of concern. Cars are bumper to bumper during pick-up and drop-off times (when students are in the front of schools). Addressing congestion by reducing speed is like putting a lifejacket on to go for a jog.
The real danger to students is the result of bad drivers being fed-up with waiting and then making dangerous maneuvers to escape (mid-block U-Turns, driving in the wrong lane, failing to follow traffic signs, etc.). Recently I met with senior AMA officials to discuss my proposals. While we did not see eye-to-eye on everything but agreed to discuss the matter in more detail after the election. I look forward to that discussion. I am not afraid to ‘think outside of the box’.
Lions Village on Castle Downs Road (No Southbound Turning Lane)
I met with representatives of Lions Village who expressed their disappointment that they cannot turn south from their property. The median in the centre of Castle Downs Road forces a right-hand / northbound turn. The popular Lakeside Landing shopping centre, with a grocery store, is just to the south of Lions Village and yet the residents of Lions Village have to take a convoluted route to get there.
It is also impossible to access Lions Village directly from Castle Downs Road, when heading south.
When one leaves Lions Village, and is forced north, they are greeted at the first opportunity for a U-Turn with a ‘No U-Turn’ sign. Legally, they have to go even further north or turn onto 157 Avenue to conduct a legal turn. The first house has a large driveway that has been used so many times for 3-point turns that the owner has put up barricades on his own property to prevent this unwanted nuisance. I have observed multiple safety issues in this area. All safety issues boil down to the fact that residents were forced north. Similar disruptions occur near the would-be southbound entrance to the complex.
The Royal Alexandra hospital is to the south (side note: there are no decent hospitals serving the North Side of Edmonton). Ambulance make weekly a call to Lions Village. When every moment counts, it is unfortunate that ambulances are forced in the wrong direction for several hundred meters.
I have heard the argument that it would impact Castle Downs Road if an “all-access” was provided to the Lions Village. The City says that the residents have to pay for a costly Traffic Impact Assessment report. I would suggest that there is plenty of precedent for “all-access” in the immediate area and that an engineering report is not required. The fire hall, transit centre, church, and Lakeside Landing (all directly south of the Lions Centre) have the ability to conduct north and southbound turns—it is just the seniors who are prevented from doing so.
The easy solution that we missed: When Castle Downs Road was recently repaved, the median should have been slightly reduced/altered to allow the residents of, and visitors to, Lions Village the same driving rights as their neighbours enjoy. Anytime that we repave a road, we should look at opportunities to fix design issues.
Extendicare in Eaux Claires (crosswalk safety for seniors)
I started this article talking about student safety. It is my opinion that seniors, who have contributed to soceity their whole lives, require some special considerations, too. The Extendicare facility is adjacent to Namao Centre which has many services popular among the Extendicare residents. In order for the residents to get to Namao Centre they have to cross 95 Street. 95 Street can be very busy as many drivers use it as a straightaway to avoid 97 Street.
Many of the Extendicare residents are in wheelchiars or motorized carts. The only crosswalk is unsignalized and I have heard from many of them that they feel unsafe using it. Immediately adjacent to the crosswalk is a power pole and it would be a very small engineering feat to upgrade the crosswalk into a signalized one where the lights blink upon pushing a button.
This small change would make a world of difference to the residents. The current situation is unacceptable.
- Common sense is not common.
- The unique issues of seniors should not be ignored.
- A vote for Jon Dziadyk on October 16 will bring the required change to Ward 3.
I may not have plastered my face on every billboard available, but I am at your doors talking real issues with real people in Ward 3.
I hope to count on your support. I have a common sense, North Side focused, election platform which includes giving Beaumaris Lake the attention that it requires.
North Side Journal