Before embarking on a pilot project that would create a seniors’ speed zone on Ridgeview Terrace, City council opted Tuesday to refer the idea to its traffic advisory committee.
Coun. Marg Spina put forward a motion calling for the creation of a speed zone along the road between Desmond Street and Tranquille Road.
She took on the issue after hearing from resident Errol Borsky, who pushes his 87-year-old mother in her wheelchair from Ridgeview to a nearby Tim Hortons for coffee.
He sent photos to council showing how there is no sidewalk, merely a line painted on the asphalt to set pedestrians apart from traffic.
He said Tuesday he watches his mother’s hand clench the wheelchair arms as the cars pass by.
“This is a very serious safety concern,” he said before showing council photos of him and his mother walking along the road edge. One picture showed a parked car blocking the walkway, forcing him to wheel his mother around and swerving near traffic.
“This is a very serious issue. It's no laughing matter. We need a sidewalk. Something has to be done.”
Spina’s motion called for a six-month pilot using a lower speed zone, no-parking signs and stencils to mark the pedestrian/cycling walkway.
With four seniors’ residences clustered in the area and a seniors’ activity centre in the Brock Shopping Centre nearby, the potential for someone to get hurt is high, she said.
“We need to protect our seniors in that area so they can remain independent as long as possible,” she said.
City administrator David Trawin said there could be other options, with varying costs. He said in the past, such ideas were referred to the traffic advisory committee to report back to council with their thougths and cost estimates.
Coun. Tina Lange moved an amendment to Spina’s motion to get a report from the committee. The group meets on Nov. 7.
Coun. Donovan Cavers said on the one hand, the situation didn’t seem to need a long of engineering. He didn’t want it to get bogged down.
But he also didn’t like the changes being made when the City has a pedestrian master plan in the works. If plans aren’t adhered to, there’s not much point to having them, he said.
Mayor Peter Milobar preferred getting a report first. There are neighbourhoods throughout the city wanting something done about walkways or traffic speeds, he said.
“I get this is a pilot but the reality is, be prepared for every neighbourhood to want the same treatment.”
“If we base it on some criteria, it makes it easier.”
Spina said going to the traffic advisory committee would be a good first step.
Borsky said he had hoped something would be decided Tuesday to resolve his concerns right away.
“I’m not disappointed but I was hoping we’d have an interim measure,” he said.