Guest editorial: Time to do the 100 Avenue Shuffle again

Guest editorial – Dave Foe’s View

Those of us who spend any time in downtown Morinville are familiar with the dance craze that is the 100 Avenue Shuffle. The steps are easy, at least the basic moves. You put your right foot out and then you put your left foot out. Those motions are repeated until you have to suck in your gut, butt or both to avoid being clipped by some jabbering yahoo on their cell phone whipping up 100 Avenue oblivious to the cross walks or anything other than the greasy cheeseburger they are double fisting as they drive. And for those of you texting while driving up 100 Avenue, you are the twit in Twitter.

The burger eaters, cell phone users and Twitter addicts are the ones we can forgive to some extent because they are idiots. And we must pity idiot drivers because they are self-absorbed nitwits who should not be trusted with a wheel of cheese, let alone the wheel of a powerful sport utility. Worse are the posterior orifices who see someone crossing the street at a crosswalk and just speed on by, pass a driver who has stopped for a pedestrian or impatiently nudge the pedestrian along to force them to cross quicker. It’s a highway, after all. How dare we cross it to get where we’re going.

It’s great to have a speed sign on the sidewalk next to St. Jean Baptiste Park. It’s great to have everyone’s friendly neighbourhood photo-radar-man ™ parked on the side of the road to help finance community cultural centres and protect the streets of Morinville under his watchful eye. But a speeding fine arriving in the mail is no good if some senior citizen or little kid gets clipped because some inconsiderate motorist is texting to his bud about how awesome the burger he’s double fisting is.

Do we need to nail speeders? Yes, and if you are speeding you need a ticket. But we really need to start nailing drivers who fail to yield for a pedestrian on 100 Avenue, 100 Street or anywhere else cross walks exist in this community. It’s a nice juicy $500-plus fine and four demerit points. It’s just the kind of thing that might smarten some drivers up and spread the message that traffic enforcement in Morinville extends well beyond cameras in trucks.

Because whether you are speeding or doing the speed limit, if you aren’t stopping for the senior crossing the road en route to the farmer’s market or for the kid heading off to the park, the result could be the same – a dead pedestrian.

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  1. Good article Dave, you hit the nail on the head with your “do we need to nail speeders” question and the statement “anywhere else crosswalks exist in this community”. It appears that the town of Morinville puts crosswalks in areas that are not needed but fails to put them in areas where, if one was located, they wouldn’t be able to ding so many drivers with photo radar i.e. the east end of town on 100 Ave by the water treatment plant. This location, according to the photo radar company, has been designated a “school zone” by the RCMP and is considered a critical area yet there is no crosswalk and no signs of any type indicating that this location is a crosswalk for kids getting on and off a school bus! The other area of great concern for the RCMP, apparently, is just past the built up area on 100 St south of town. It is beyond me how the photo radar van can sit for hours on end (notice he parks right in front of the “no parking” sign) and yet there are cars speeding up and down my street “in town” and I cannot get them to monitor my area. Only because there is much more money to be made on the out skirts of town! How sad is it that the town puts a higher regard on money from photo radar than the lives of our citizens?

  2. Will, what does putting in a crosswalk have to do with photo radar? What would drawing the lines and putting up a crosswalk sign on the east end of Morinville do to slow people down? I don’t see the correlation. There are multiple crosswalks on 100 Ave in the middle of town and people still speed.

    Dave, I like your point of view. Some drivers here (probably everywhere) are not concentrating on the road, thereby are not aware of pedestrians. More needs to be done to monitors those who dare to venture across the street. Maybe a photo radar needs to be invented that can fine drivers who do not stop or do not wait until a pedestrian is safely on the opposite side of the road.

  3. I’m pretty sure the town has the photo radar monitoring areas they feel are a safety concern for residents instead of just looking for a cash cow. Honestly, would a crosswalk at the east end of town actually do anything to slow down drivers? There is a posted speed limit for a reason and people still get tickets. What difference will an actual crosswalk make to the whole process? Putting in the crosswalk may be a good idea but only if people start getting tickets for both speeding there and not yielding to pedestrians, otherwise it’s just throwing money away to make one. And to be quite frank, not even the police in this town stop for pedestrians all the time, so it may be a moot point.

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