Letter: Reader concerned about extended speed limit zone

Dear Mr. Editor,

I would like to express my concerns about the extended 50km/h speed sign just past South Glens. The new speed limit was introduced last week on Friday the 26th; I have only driven on Cardiff Road a few times in that week and it already annoys me. Most people I talk to believe it is a cash grab for the town of Morinville mostly directed towards the people of Cardiff. It’s hard to believe isn’t when there seems to be no reason to slow down to 50km/h passing by fields and a fence towards or leaving a stop sign.

But I am not here to complain about the extra 10 irritating seconds of travel time, but more so how this change only affects the people of Cardiff or anyone using Cardiff Road, and the extended posting only enforces the breaking of traffic laws.

I find it irritating that I have no voice in the matter. I can see no reason why anyone from South Glens or Morinville will complain because this does not affect their daily life. On the other hand people of Cardiff that use this as their road home will be driving back and forth irritated about this change which we will have no say in the matter. Of course we can raise concerns but in the end as we live in the County and not Morinville, our concerns won’t count.

What aggravates me most, is that as a new driver of four years now, the extended posting will subconsciously degrade my beliefs in always following traffic laws. I know there will be photo radar at the entrance of South Glens waiting to take my money for the town. But I also know that once I see the entrance is free of surveillance that I will accelerate despite the posted speed, and I know for a fact that many others driver will do the same because we see no reason in driving at such a slow speed passing by two empty fields. To me it is such a conflicting internal battle, I still believe that the laws should be followed to maintain order in society, but why would I follow a rule that lacks any reasoning behind it? What more is that the town of Morinville can agree to that statement?

There is no danger or concerns to have an extended 50km/h speed limit traveling east towards South Glens. There is however reports of people going as high as 100km/h in that zone. Residents of South Glens have complained about near misses merging onto Cardiff Road. These are legitimate concerns for westbound traffic but not eastbound traffic.

Something needs to be done and I understand that. I would be able to abide by the posted speed if it was 60km/h like 100th street going into Morinville. There is enough traffic on Cardiff Road for it to be considered an arterial road like 100th street. My other suggestion would be to have uneven speed limit signs. Yes it would look peculiar, yet would resolve my conflicting internal battle of whether or not to follow the traffic laws. Having the extended 50km/h zone affect only eastbound traffic but have it 80km/h for west bound traffic, like it originally was, would make both parties fairly happy. Whatever the solution may be, Id like to see a change before my positive outlook towards obeying town laws becomes subconsciously corrupted?

– Colette Bachand

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  1. So I’m confused…. We can cash grab that road to 50 km for ” safety” but cannot with all the so called ” trying as hard as we can” make the highway an 80 zone to cut down on deaths and accidents from Cardiff corner? I know that’s a provincial decision but seems the push needed has not been pushed hard. Yup.. Called Alberta hwys. The town has not done what they need to do apparently to put that in action since the overpass was cancelled. But holy crap!!! Thank you thank you for making Cardiff road safe as apparently the safety need there for speeders far out weighs the lives lost or forever changed from Cardiff corner.
    -end sarcasm here-

  2. I absolutely agree with Colette, having lived in Cardiff for 35 years I find there is no logic to the newly posted change to the speed limit for east bound traffic as it affects no one. I agree, too, that most people I have spoken to regard it soley as a cash cow. I see many times when there is a pending change to speed limits there is a notice and unless I missed it, this one just happened out of the blue. What’s up with this?

  3. Let’s deal with the facts here. Most communities, when they change speed limits, put something up to notify that there has been a change in speed limit – this did not happen. What did happen was an immediate escalation of photo radar, laser radar by the county sheriffs and increased patrol of law enforcement. So, simply put, it is a cash grab. I would love to see the actual proven statistics of any accidents prior to this change in speed limit. The previously posted speed limit allowed people to slow to 50km prior to the entrance/exit of South Glens. Morinville has, like St. Albert, discovered photo radar is a revenue generator and it leaves one to believe that they have created traps to best aide them in their revenue generation. Their focus should be on the overpass on Hwy 2 at Cardiff Road and as I understand it, Morinville will be looking for a new management team later this year and I recommend that the people of Morinville put a better management team in place to get us where we need to be on the interchange and this ridiculous revenue grab through photo radar, etc. One further point, is everyone happy with the ridiculous smell still eminating from Champion Pet Foods and the lack of response by the Town Council to get this cleaned up once and for all. That seems to be put on the back burner and as I understand the town has no avenue to aide complaints. I, plus several people that I have spoken to, take my business to St. Albert when the stench is prevalent in Morinville. Can’t wait for the next election.

  4. Morinville presently budgets a million dollars to be received from photo radar.

  5. This town is in deep trouble and I’m not sure ANY of our elected officials have any idea about what they have gotten us in to over the last few years. Personally if I was in a situation to do so I would put my house up for sale and stomach those 50 KPH speed signs into Cardiff rather than live in a town that has made the following mistakes over the past number of years:

    -Depleted most of our savings to offset large tax hikes and fund large projects. Guess what the solution will be this year to keep up with inflation…a significant tax hike.

    -Built a Community Centre that costs over $793,000 (7% of the total town budget) a year to operate.

    -Spent over 4 MILLION dollars to renovate a building that is over 30 years old.

    -Setup a Bylaw Department that costs over $377,000 (3% of the total budget) a year to operate. Spend that money on additional dedicated RCMP officers for the town, not on a two person department that has some of the worst communication skills I have ever encountered.

    I personally will not vote for a single person running for re-election. This current group of council has allowed a top heavy Administration (which costs 2.4 Million a year, or 22% of our total budget per year BTW) to drive this town in to a financial and operational hole.

    This town needs drastic change and I’m not convinced that any of the current folks on council are capable of being involved in that change given their track records over the past number of years.

    Go ahead and point out the positives but I guarantee you they won’t out weigh the negative impact coming financially to this town immediately after the election signs come off the lawns and Council gets a first look at the 2014 budget…

  6. Morinville (We want your Cash) Photo Radar. Colette, nice letter-I just about wrote about the new sign. Funny thing is aren’t they supposed to put up a “NEW SIGN” sign for a period of time to allow people to adjust to the new driving conditions? Of course this would reduce the money collected from all the people like me who never noticed this new sign until just recently or others who won’t notice it until they get their ticket issued in the mail. I find this new sign offensive personally. You should look forward to a response from someone who yaps about new development along the road sometime in the “NEAR” future. If only they would address the weeds never ever cut in years on the north side of the road and drainage issues. Maybe everyone should stop going into town as much as we can and they might notice.
    Darren Savage also in Cardiff.

  7. And just think folks, if at least one candidate gets his way (and there may be others!), all you fine residents of Cardiff may soon have the right to vote in a Morinville election – because you too will be citizens of this fine Municipality.

    Bet you’re all just on pins and needles over that prospect, eh?

    Have a nice day!

  8. Having lived in both Morinville and Cardiff (now back in Morinville) 10 of the past 13 years, I agree with Julie. Photo-radar is not a responsible generator of operating funds. Nice to have, but should not be relied upon.

    Photo-radar is, as Julie also points out quite well, a symptom of the greater financial problems within our small town. We need to get a hold of it quickly, starting with our new Council, or things will get out of hand even more quickly. Some questionable, but no doubt well-intentioned, decisions have started to make living in Morinville an expensive proposition.

    I used to sneer at St. Albert residents for their high taxes. Well, I’m not so critical anymore. They have a lot of services to show for what they pay. We are headed towards their kind of taxes with not a lot more to show for it. I’m VERY interested in what the candidates have to say.

  9. I used to sneer at St. Albert residents for their high taxes. Well, I’m not so critical anymore. They have a lot of services to show for what they pay. We are headed towards their kind of taxes with not a lot more to show for it. I’m VERY interested in what the candidates have to say.

    Well said Brent.I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Candidates will say what we want to hear as usual… At the end of the day, this council failed the people. They let corporations control their decisions instead of residents. We have seen this first hand with the smell factory.

  10. Brent: My taxes have doubled in the last twelve years here in Morinville! I can buy groceries, gas, meals at restaurants, limited hardware items (although if it is after 6 PM, I’m heading into St Albert) and not much more, entertainment wise, nothing! St Albert’s taxes, I thought, seemed high when I looked at housing there, but Morinville has very little to offer for the high taxes we are now paying. Photo radar is in the town budget as a guaranteed souce of funds. So what happens if all the drivers in Morinville adhered to the rules and do not speed? We would still be obligated to pay this photo radar contractor although I am positive that this photo radar company is making an OBSCENE amount of money from this contract through a percentage of the fines generated. Why can’t we see the specifics of this contract and find out exactly how much this contractor is making? I really object to the fact that we cannot see any / every contract that the town has with any contractor. As a taxpayer, it is my right to see these! Adding further insult to injury, this photo radar company sits on the Traffic Committee as an expert in traffic safety / speeding related laws !!! Any other place where a contractor is employed, they are TOLD what to do! This is a MAJOR conflict of interest! We have the RCMP as the experts, the contractor should be outside the door, called in when decisions are made and TOLD what to do and how to do it. Is it any wonder that new areas are being targeted as “speed zones”? This whole photo radar debacle smells very fishy to me. Basically, my family and I sleep in Morinville but we live and play in St Albert and Edmonton. I don’t see anything bright on the horizon in the near future for our town. Sad!

  11. Does nobody else see how ridiculous this letter is? All it is is whining. Why does it matter the reason the limit was changed? It was. Deal with it. If you don’t want to pay a photo radar ticket, don’t speed! I don’t get tickets for that exact reason! I don’t always agree with the posted limits but I follow them. I drove on that road heading toward Cardiff last week. I saw the new 50km/hr zone. It was less than a 3 seconds drive at 50km/hr between the old sign and new sign. Seriously. Suck it up and deal with it or pay the consequences.

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