Letter: Further concerns with Cardiff Road sign location

Despite the response I received on my 3rd attempt of contacting the Town about the extended 50km/h speed sign just east past South Glens I am just as irked as I was before. I feel as though I was given the brushoff and even though I included the original letter to the editor from Colette Bachand as well as the other comments I feel as though Mr. Schaefer did NOT address the concern about the issue being the extended 50km speed PAST the South Glens entrance travelling east.

In my letter to David Schaefer, Director of Corporate Operations, I wrote:

“Near the end of July the 50km speed limit on Cardiff Road heading east was extended beyond where it had been with no notice and from what I can determine no logic. There is no residential or commercial activity, just fields so it could not be for a safety reason.

“By coincidence, at the same time we have seen more radar trap presence at that location?

“What is it going to take for this decision to be reconsidered?

“As a Cardiff Echoes resident for the past 35 years I just do not understand the logic of this change nor do I understand why there was no notice to drivers of the pending change.

“Please advise me why the 50km was extended heading east beyond the South Glens entrance where only fields exist.”

I included copies of the Morinville News letter to the editor on the issue.

In his response, Mr. Schaefer thanked me, said there had been complaints about people speeding past the South Glens entrance and indicated that the speed enforcement areas & amounts had not changed.


How can folks travelling east be speeding past the entrance when the original 80km posted sign was positioned already past the entrance? Why did the 50km need to be extended even further east where only open fields are on both sides of the road?

Why there was no advance notification to drivers of the change.

It seems as though this was considered to be just an obvious opportunity for the Town to generate more revenue through photo radar.

It is the residents of Cardiff & Cardiff Echoes who have been negatively affected and I wonder what it is going to take to have this decision re-examined. Maybe the 200 plus residents need to organize a petition to present to council?

Linda Osland

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  1. Linda Osmand – we know exactly how you feel. We have been asking the same type of questions for the past 3 or 4 years. What I would suggest is that you either take your concerns to your Sturgeon Council and ask them to contact Morinville or to request to speak at Morinville Council at the next meeting and ask the Councillors for concrete answers to your questions.

  2. Many are asking, why does the photo radar camera operator feel the need to HIDE in the bushes behind cement signs, hide his vehicle. Wasn’t the purpose of the placement/presence of this company’s vehicle supposed to be a deterant to speed and make dangerous areas safe? Well this doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s all about money. Ask the owner of said company how he persuaded the town to hire them! I mean, I commend his ability to sell himself but as for the Town of Morinville…..this looks really pathetic, greedy and lazy, in my opinion. No I do not condone speeding. Yes, I am a law abiding citizen. I also appreciate consistency, fairness and compitency! But this issue, this thievery, this lack of respect for the people who support your town and the businesses is repulsive. Who makes up all these silly speed limits? It looks completely incompetent to repeatedly change the signs. As far as I’m concerned, any previous tickets received on that stretch prior to the signage changes should receive a refund. Isnt that the norm when errors are made?! You cannot have two different speed limits on the same 1/4 km going different directions. I’ve thought of a petition. I’ve thought of boycotts towards the businesses, I have boycotted! My grocery bill monthly is about $1000-$1200. I can only imagine the impact less revenues would make on businesses due to Cardiff residents putting their money into Edmonton or St. Albert. Perhaps business owners have more push in this tight little community 🙂

  3. Wow Lisa. I had no idea that Sobey’s and No Frills were responsible for the photo radar guy hiding behind a sign and catching you while you are speeding. Thanks for clearing that up! I’ll be sure
    to punish them too!

    I just shake my head when I read complaints on photo radar. Don’t people get it? If you don’t speed, you don’t pay! Who cares if there is a photo radar guy hiding behind a sign. Don’t give him a reason to take your picture!

    The change in speed makes sense to me. The people in South Glens need to exit onto Cardiff Road. They go East or West. People speeding up well before the 80km per hour sign (as people like to call transition zones) make it hazardous for those trying to head towards Cardiff. And in reality, it adds maybe 5 secs to your travel time. I counted it. It took me 11 secs to go from the old sign to the new one, at 50km per hour.

    I think people just need something to complain about.

  4. Honestly the area to the west of Cardiff needs more attention then that secondary road. It’s been well documented the fear people have crossing the highway yet we still wait for something to be done and that is more of a hazard than anything. New speed zones can pop up anytime in town limits but when we need one that makes sense, it seems to be other people’s decision and they don’t even live here and realize the danger.

    • Shamus: As Council met for the last time for this term last night, I asked about the Cardiff Road Highway 2 options in lieu of an interchange, promised in 2011 by former MLA Ken Kowalski, and subsequently taken off the province’s three-year plan. I was told by Administration at last night’s meeting the options revealed to our late Mayor Paul Krauskopf and Deputy Mayor Lisa Holmes that were to be discussed by Council and then discussed with the public would not be disclosed to the public at this time as Alberta Transportation has indicated to Council they are not to be made public.

  5. Thank you for the information. Glad to see its on people’s radar. I honestly believe that crossing is more of an issue than any other traffic problems we have in town.

    • Shamus, as long as I am reporting I will continue to ask Council until we have a resolution. Not that they have forgotten it. But I don’t want them to ever forget that we have not forgotten it.

  6. Melissa, you missed the point on boycotts. Cardiff residents support local business. If a group of people choose to not drive the roads of Morinville due to a blood sucker, businesses will start to feel the effects. I make a point of leaving my job in St. Albert and drive to Morinville to get groceries even though I pass 2 major grocery chain. Since the big tax payers of Morinville seem to have more pull than….anyone else, this just seems like a no brainer! I mean, I can’t tell people to boycott the courts! Lol. But thanks for missing the point 🙂
    As for those people whom exit South Glens in the rolling stop form, I think they received a license because they’re qualified to drive. If for example, someone has a problem exiting onto a main road with cars driving at 60-80 Kms/hr where there is nothing but unobstructed views, perhaps said individuals should consider driving lessons or….just don’t drive. This set speed limit solely serves to peel more money out of people’s wallets. Somebody, please PROVE how this area is dangerous…

  7. Oy. People just don’t listen, eh?

    You have to pay the photo rador guy ONLY if YOU speed. He is just another business in town. If everyone obeys the speed limits, no matter how they personally feel about them, he will have no one to give tickets to and therefore his business will no longer be sustainable and he will leave. How about you boycott the correct business? That will actually make a difference.

  8. My issue is not with photo radar. If we speed; we pay. My issue is the logic of the extended 50km east of the South Glens entrance. How does 80km in that zone adversely affect South Glens residents turning east? I don’t understand it. Why is it any different than someone turning east on 642 from the pump station where the speed limit increases to 100km/hr? And second – Why was there notification of the change?

    To me these are two very straightforward simple questions – why is it so difficult to get a logical answer?

    If there is a concern about raising folks’ awareness to slowing down, why not put up a speed alert sign like there is close the the Echoes and there is/was on Main Street in Morinville? Why have photo radar there everyday?


  9. Melissa, obviously you don’t know much about contracts, the photo radar company will get paid by the town of Morinville whether they catch speeders or not. However, the more speeders they catch, the MORE money they make (and the town of Morinville collects also) I suspect that these new areas are being targeted because the other areas have dried up. Now, the town of Morinville, in their wisdom, has included fines collected from photo radar into their annual budget as a source of revenue, therefore, they MUST collect money from it to balance this budget! So, don’t get your hopes up that if everyone in town obeys the existing speed limits, that this photo radar company will go away. What will happen is new areas of town will, all of a sudden, become “areas of concern” with many “complaints” from citizens??? and these new areas will become revenue makers until they too dry up. It will be a cycle that will persist until either the town boots the photo radar contractor out or the photo radar contractor walks away from the contract because there is no money making potential anymore. The only sad part about this whole deal is that not once in my letter did you see the word SAFETY which was / is the whole intent of speed enforcement. Unfortunately, safety has taken a backseat, once again, to greed!

  10. Will, obviously you don’t know much about THIS particular contract! If NO tickets are issued, the contractor gets NO money.

    We have been told on numerous occasions that ITS (the ‘contractor’) only receives a PERCENTAGE of the value of the tickets it issues – and therein lies the rub…

    Since the signing of the first contract with this company, we have been fighting – not the USE of Photo Radar – but the unethical (in our minds) PLACEMENT of the cameras in those zones which have little or nothing to do with SAFETY per se, but EVERYTHING to do with collecting as much money as possible from offenders.

    This battle is NOT over and our Director of Corporate Operations had best be extremely wary of his cavalier (‘what do I care, I don’t live here’) attitude towards this issue.

  11. Linda: There is no significant difference of the Cardiff road/South Glens turn in comparison to turning easy on 642. The reason they didn’t put out notification of the change in speed, I’m guessing here BUT likely because they are refusing to acknowledge the change. It’s difficult to get a logical answer because it means a payout from the town of Morinville and the photo radar company.

    There is no pedestrian traffic, no school zone and no playground in this area. It’s simple, increase the speed limit and less tickets will be issued. Interestingly enough Melissa, statistics claim…..less accidents with a speed increase, not that there are accidents anyway! Thanks to that lovely speed reduction, Cardiff road sees people driving UNDER the speed limit and drivers passing on this road more than I’ve ever seen before! Your words exactly, photo radar is a ‘business’. And businesses aim to gain 🙂 Will is right, they won’t leave until the town tells them to, which is highly unlikely. I’m all for law enforcement…..by REAL police catching real criminals.
    Town of Morinville’s Financial Statement for Penalties & Other Fines (received from a source) – In 2009, revenue under this was $467,908; 2010 – $1,037,043; 2011 – $1,004,974; 2012 – $622,494.

    Wow, who knew we had so many dangerous people living around us! This is ridiculous, almost laughable.

    • Allow me to lay out a fundamental problem with how things are done in the Town RIGHT NOW.

      FACT – South Glens is a residential area

      FACT – The speed zone in residential areas in the Town of Morinville is 50 km/h

      FACT – That means the speed zone coming to the entrance of South Glens must be 50 km/h if that area by South Glens is deemed a residential area- now that last one may be an arguable fact.

      FACT – THIS Council has discussed for three years off and on establishing a social media policy – that would allow the Town to present the three points I just made up top in exactly the manner I just made them, and maybe, just maybe, some of you would say – THAT’s LOGICAL. Then the argument can be taken to the real heart of the matter – the good or ill of photo radar and how it is operated.

      FACT – This Council has ended its term without passing a social media policy and this Council has not availed themselves of the opportunity of addressing this issue RIGHT HERE by telling you that South Glens is a residential area that requires (because of the speed limit rules for residential areas) that the speed there MUST be 50 km/h.

      In doing so here or elsewhere, it would open the dialogue as to whether or not that was right, wrong or right down the middle.

      So maybe you can put that one on your list of stuff to ask those running this fall. What are you willing to do to open up the digital communications channels between residents and the Town.

  12. Great facts Admin. Thanks for the clarification. I gotta say though, that wall which contains the neighbourhood of South Glens AND the distance of the neighbourhood from the road, calls into question the legitimacy of the ‘residential’ status of said road. More so, I just wonder why a hired hiding camera is deemed to be a safety tool when most would agree its just something else to distract their drive. At the end of the day, I can only hope Morinville residents can find a good balance in placing radar in appropriate areas, areas where people are truly in danger. It’s just slimmy otherwise. Good luck with that!

  13. Here is a letter I sent out in regards to this exact issue. I did not get 1 reply. Simply disappointing.

    To whom it may concern,

    I have just gotten off the telephone with a Mr. David Schaefer to relay my concerns about the increase of the transition zone on Cardiff Road from 50m to 250m. I am a resident to South Glens and this came as a shock to me. I have yet to see any problems with the previous 50m transition zone. I enter and exit this entrance approx. 4-6 times daily and never have I seen, heard sirens (I live earshot away) or heard about an accident at this intersection due to speed. I had asked Mr. Schaefer a variety of questions that I would still appreciate an answer to. From my conversation with Mr. Schaefer, I concluded that the reason it was changed from 50m to 250m is because people were not following the current speed signs. What I do NOT understand is that, if the current signs were not being followed, how would a change of signs actually help? If people choose not to follow the signs, how is moving them further down the road going to solve the problem? The people who obey, will continue to obey (and be continually annoyed as the transition zone is far too long to NOT be annoying) and those people who didn’t follow before will continue to NOT obey. The logic here is not clear to me.

    Mr. Schaefer told me that this change would make the intersection safer however he was unable to provide me any statistics of accidents that have occurred in this area prior to the movements of the transition zone. Is there any way these statistics can be made available to the public? Otherwise, how is anyone going to be able to tell if the change is ACTUALLY making a difference?

    I would like to further ask how the amount of transition zone (50m vs. 250m) was decided on? Is there a standard amount of meters or was this just made up?

    As a resident of South Glens, I assure you I drive the speed limit. In fact, I have never received a ticket of any sort in my 15 years of driving. However, I see this as a way to gain funds from the photo-radar vehicle that has been parked at this intersection everyday since this change has taken place. ( and YES, I have been documenting!) When people drive the same road everyday for 10 years, a change like this should be posted for courteous sake. Just to be kind. This way, it simply seems like a cash cow backed up by a made-up rule of how long a transition zone should be. If he is going to sit here to catch the people who don’t follow the signage, what does it matter how long the transition zone is? Why punish everyone else who actually follows the signs by adding ridiculously long transition zones.

    Thank you for your time,

    Annette Holterman

    CC: Lisa Holmes, David Pattison, Nicole Boutestein, Gordon Boddez

  14. Well stated Annette…

    And yet ANOTHER instance of no rational, satisfactory response from Administration to a simple, straight-forward question from a taxpayer.

    Oh, did I forget to mention that most of the senior folks working in Morinville’s Administration (and who suck a significant number of our tax dollars out of our pockets into their own!) do NOT even live in Morinville, have absolutely NO vested interest in our welfare and care not one whit about our problems.

    What a shame!

    We can only trust that the next Council will have the intestinal fortitude to make things right.

  15. James, thanks for the contract information. By the way, where did you get the info on the Photo Radar contract? I have asked the town repeatedly and they have stated that they will not release any information on it due to confidentiality and privacy concerns. Could you reply to the admin here with the persons name who gave you that information so I could contact them also? I have dealt with contracts for many years in Alberta and I haven’t seen many, especially within Government contracts, that are totally percentage payments, there is always a rider attached in case the percentage payments are too low causing the Contractor hardship through no fault of their own.

  16. Hey Will:

    Myself and a couple of other folks have been going around the mulberry bush with Administration on this issue for quite some time now. Essentially, while conducting our research in support of our arguments, we went through a couple of FOIP exercises – not only with the Town, but also with the Provincial Government. To make a long story short enough to be printed in this media, we received HIGHLY redacted returns from both sources but the substance of THIS contract’s payments (the percentage bit) WAS advised. In addition, our Council of the day AND the upper echelon of Morinville’s Administration (prior to our Director of Corporate Operations arrival on the scene) admitted this detail of the contract – they just wouldn’t divulge the EXACT percentages!

    Again I am compelled to mention that this little battle is NOT over and that our Director of Corporate Operations had best be extremely wary of his cavalier (‘what do I care, I don’t live here’) attitude towards this issue.

    If you’d care to get together for a coffee some time, I’d love to meet with you (or with anyone else who wishes to ‘discuss’ this problem for that matter!). Contact me at: jgobrien@telus.net

    Have a nice day!

  17. Kudos to everyone who gets the point that photo radar is mainly nothing but a revenue generator. I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE to go to the link that Lisa has provided.

    According to a major news source in Canada, the link has gone viral and supports a lot of what has been written on this topic. Second, I think it’s time that the citizens of Morinville choose a council that is sensitive to the needs of the community, answers questions that citizens put forth and doesn’t hide behind supposed confidentiality agreements at taxpayers cost.
    Lastly, I would like to have someone from the town show where and when the announcement was made regarding the change in location of speed zone signage.

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