Sidewalk on 38th St. could stop tragedy

I am writing to let you in on the history behind the "accident" that took place Oct. 22 in Ponoka. Unfortunately, the residents on 38th Street could have predicted this accident would occur.

Dear Editor:

Maybe now we will be taken seriously.

I am writing to let you in on the history behind the “accident” that took place Oct. 22 in Ponoka. Unfortunately, the residents on 38th Street could have predicted this accident would occur.

We moved to Ponoka just under two years ago and have since been in touch with the mayor, town council and police multiple times to voice our concerns about the reckless driving and speeding that occurs on our street. We are continually told that all we can do is contact the police when someone breaks the law and they will do their best to come and see the situation. Unfortunately, when people are speeding and driving recklessly they don’t usually stick around for very long. The police always ask if I was able to get a license plate number but when the speed limit is 40 km/h and people are driving at more than double that speed it is difficult to provide them with such information.

After not resolving the problem I went to town hall to ask for their advice on how to deal with the situation. I was told to go back to the police and write a formal complaint. I did this and while I was at the station another resident walked in to file a complaint as well. I have never heard a response to my complaint or concerns.

My husband and I sent a letter to the local newspaper, as well as to town council, the mayor and or MLA Ray Prins outlining our concerns. The letter was delivered to those parties on Sept. 19. In our letter we specifically said that if these issues were not taken seriously someone would be hurt or killed.

The town is not interested in this. Instead they are more concerned about bullying a few residents on our street into footing the bill to have our road paved and sidewalks, curbs and gutters put in place. We have told the town that we are not interested in putting in pavement until they deal with the speeding and reckless driving, as our only means of controlling the speed is that the road is not in the best shape and acts as a mild deterrent to speeding. The town spent $800,000 this year to pave our tiny airport but they will not provide pavement on our streets. We are told that this can only be done as a local improvement fee paid for by a select few residents. One of the residents is an elderly pensioner who would have to pay in excess of $40,000 as her share. This is completely outrageous.

The town exempted the developer at the time of development from paying for the local upgrades that are a normal part of the development agreement with the town. No reason was given by town council for this exemption. Maybe if there were sidewalks on our street this girl would not be in the hospital today. Maybe if the police would hand out the appropriate fines for speeding, reckless driving, and driving under the influence, people would be deterred from acting in such an irresponsible manner. Instead the police and town officials are more concerned with blaming other and trying to get other to deal with the issues that are prevalent in this community. They have the attitude if they ignore the problem long enough we will get tired and leave them alone. A 13-year-old girl paid the price for that attitude.

Instead of handing out tickets for speeding and reckless driving, the police have now charged a resident of Ponoka (not a resident on this street) with reckless driving, driving under the influence and driving under the influence causing bodily harm.

Maybe some pressure form someone else would help resolve the attitude of police and town council.

Loanna Gulka

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