Above: Morinville Online file photo of a car stopped at the intersection of 100 Avenue and Grandin Avenue
You Can View The Complete Council Discussion above or at: https://vimeo.com/688540659?fbclid=IwAR1zK9QaSYNztDBWNP1BYnPQtGAfjw-CdUSmShunauKbXKj-l280FqezuNo#t=5:17:31
by Colin Smith
Two recent incidents, one in which a student was struck by a vehicle, and resulting public concern, have prompted council to rev up their efforts to ensure traffic safety in Morinville.
Both the vehicle pedestrian and a two-vehicle collision took place by the high school up from the intersection of 100 Avenue and Grandin.
At regular meeting Tuesday the mayor and councillors voted in favour of a proposal to get stakeholders to the table to discuss improving safety on 100 Avenue, which is also Alberta Highway 642.
Councillor Rebecca Balanko moved that Alberta Transportation Minister Prasad Panda and local MLA Dale McNally, Associate Minister for Natural Gas, be invited to a meeting along with representatives of the two school boards.
The purpose of the meeting would be to “discuss the ongoing concerns, responsibilities and solutions on Highway 642 and advance the imperatives to resolve the issues and create safe passage for all.”
Balanko pointed out that the issue of responsibility for 100 Avenue and its safety, whether Morinville or the province, has been up in the air for some time.
“We all want the safety and wellbeing of our residents,” she said. “This motion was about getting all the players at the table.”
The immediate impetus for the discussion was a letter to Council from Kaylee Hewitt.
“I am writing to you today to voice my concerns about the intersection at Grandin Drive & 100 Avenue,” she wrote. “With school back in session, I’ve witnessed already countless close calls to pedestrians trying to cross the street.”
In discussing the letter, a number of council members their own harrowing experiences, including Deputy Mayor Ray White.
“Our stepdaughter was hit by a pickup truck right in front of the Home Hardware store in 2011,” he said. “She broke her femur, cracked three ribs, broke her arm, punctured her spleen. It was a long, long drawn-out process to get through that.
“I know what people go through when something like that happens. It isn’t easy. It’s an important issue. Needs to be fixed.”
On possible solution for the short term raised was to employee crossing guards at the riskiest intersections. That was set aside for further consideration.
“I just definitely want residents to know that we are not sitting idle,” said Balanko. “We are moving forward and we will get this resolved.”
A demonstration by concerned parents on the traffic safety issue is planned for Thursday.