Council receives traffic concerns from resident and parent council

by Colin Smith

As part of an effort to strengthen the response to resident concerns, at its Nov. 9 meeting Town Council sought answers from the administration in regard to complaints expressed in two letters to it.

A letter from Laurie Russell of the MCHS Parents Council expressed concern about the flow of traffic around Morinville Community High School.

The letter states the parent council’s belief that there is a persistent danger to both pedestrians and drivers on two sides of the school, on 100 Avenue in front of the high school and on Laval Avenue Behind it.

Concerns include a crosswalk without lights and drivers racing and stunting.

According to Iain Bushell, General Manager, Community and Infrastructure Services, a report on Morinville’s 49 marked crosswalks was recently completed, and that it recommended flashing lights be added to that crosswalk. Determining priorities for work on it and other crosswalks is currently underway.

“I have already directed Enforcement Services and asked the RCMP to increase their presence in school zones,” Bushell told Council.

He stated that there are seven school zones in town, with only one enforcement officer available at any one time to monitor them, which limits coverage of each zone.

While speed bumps and reduced speed limits might be introduced, additional photo radar is not an option because of a provincially imposed freeze, he said.

Bushell added that his sense, on an anecdotal basis, was that speeding near MCHS was not any worse than in other areas.

In the second letter, resident Marcel Gagne states his displeasure with the concrete curb extensions installed on 100 Avenue.

Gagne sees them as creating problems for drivers making right-hand turns, particularly when pulling a trailer.

He also predicts the extensions will cause issues once the snow starts to fall, both for snow-clearing machinery, pedestrians and vehicles that will hit them, ruining tires, rims and alignments.

Bushell said that the curb extensions were put in to improve pedestrian safety by reducing the width of the road that walkers have to cross.

He pointed out that extensions were already located at other places in town where they have not caused a problem, and also that they are only in parking lanes.

However they are designed so that they can be removed without too much effort if they prove to be unsuitable, Bushell added.

The council directed the mayor to send replies to the two letters.

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