Traffic and pedestrian safety open house set for Tuesday

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – The Town of Morinville is hoping residents will come out and provide their input into the community’s plans for traffic and pedestrian safety in town. The two-hour event takes place Tuesday night at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Debbie Oyarzun said the best way to participate in Morinville’s Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Review is to come to the open house itself. “We’ll have some large-scale maps up,” she said. “What we’ve done is we’ve pinned up all of our signage, our cross walks, photo radar zones, locations of accidents on streets. Everything will be mapped out so it will be very visual. We can get a big picture overview of the entire town and all the traffic- and pedestrian-related signage and such.”

Oyarzun said she is also hoping to have a Regional Traffic Safety Program Coordinator from the province come to the event to answer questions people may have. Members of Council, Town staff members, RCMP members, and Morinville’s Community Peace Officers will also be on hand during the evening event.

While the local and regional participants will be able to listen to resident input and answer resident questions, Oyarzun is hoping for more from the open house. “What I’m hoping is that not only do we hear about concerns, but we also hear some thoughts on some solutions,” she said. “If they have a concern, what also might be a solution?”

Photo radar one part of project

Oyarzun has previously committed that photo radar locations would be part of the review. She considers photo radar to be an integral part of the Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Review. “To me it is another component just as stop signs and lighted crosswalks and no parking zones,” she said. “To me it’s just another factor, another component in traffic and pedestrian safety.”

To that end, Morinville’s current 20 photo radar locations will be mapped out along with everything else that is being reviewed. Additionally, sheets will be on hand for each of the zones, explaining the justification for their being selected and approved.

“That will be presented just as I would present the location of all the stop signs or the crosswalks,” Oyarzun said, adding people will be able to offer their input on existing locations as well as suggestions on other locations where photo radar should or should not be. The CAO said there may be some locations where increased Community Peace Officer presence may have stronger value than photo radar.

“There are different ways to approach this, and that is what I want people to come away with,” she said of the full review process. “It’s all encompassing. I do not want this to become solely focused on photo radar because, to me, it’s only one component of the bigger Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Review for the town.”

Implementing solutions

The CAO is planning to have the Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Review implemented by year’s end. “This is a project that Council elected to put budget towards for the 2012 year,” she said. “The plan is we would have everything implemented by the end of 2012.” The caveat to that lies in the area of 100 Avenue (Highway 642) where there is cross-jurisdictional control between the Town of Morinville and the province. “It’s harder for us to set timelines because not everything is within our control,” Oyarzun said. “If there are those types of things, we can’t guarantee we will have them done by the end of 2012. But that is the target Council has set with respect to the budget and that Administration has set with respect to implementation.”

Those unable to attend Tuesday night’s session can participate in other ways. Oyarzun said the Town is setting up an e-mail link at Morinville.ca to allow input. Additionally, people may write or call the Town office.

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