Web Poll: Ponoka News readers don’t feel Ponoka should be responsible for highway speed limits

Ponoka News’ recent poll shows a slight majority against town’s taking control of speed limits

A slight majority of Ponoka News readers feel towns should not have control of highway speed limits in a community.

The question came about as a result of Ponoka resident Warren Hart stating frustration with speeding on Highway 53 at the east end of Ponoka.

Of the 84 votes, 43 (51 per cent) spoke against the question: Should towns be responsible for speed limits on highway roads within their boundaries?

Slightly behind the majority were the ‘Yes’ votes with 38 (45 per cent) and the remaining three votes (4 per cent) stating they are ‘Unsure.’

As is usual with our readers, the comments provided some clarity to people’s reasons behind their decisions.

Vicki Cyr Hanson understand’s Hart’s frustration. “Living by Highway 53 I have had people almost slam into my rear end because I’m turning onto my street and they are going way too fast to slow down, and not paying attention.”

“Being in a residential area there are kids and pets that one always does the best to control but there are risks and hazards,” she added.

For her part, Anne-marie Opsteen, who lives close to Highway 53 says it hasn’t been an issue. “We live close to the (Highway) 53 in town where they can do 60 and no problem, even the arena doesn’t give us a noise problem.”

Reader Lilanna Black is concerned about that area, especially by Reddi Mart. “Unless the province is willing to put up more lights at intersections or build walking bridges for pedestrians and fence off the highway for safety/sound issues, the speed limit should be maxed out at 50 (km/h).”

While some gave a straight answer of ‘No’ to the question, others also suggested Hart move if he doesn’t like the noise.

Reader Damon Dinsmore feels the real issue here is the speeding. “The town being in charge of the speeds on the highway would do absolutely nothing. You drop it down to 50, people are still going to do 70. You put it up to 70, people are still going to do 80-90,” said Dinsmore.

“Without constant law enforcement, you’re always going to have people breaking traffic laws on a steady basis,” he added.

Ponoka resident Murray Mackay sent a letter to Ponoka News suggesting that the town may not understand its rights when it comes to highway speeds.

“Certainly the Municipal (Government) Act makes it clear, that a municipality has the direction, control and management of all roads within the municipality,” said Mackay.

“The Alberta Traffic Safety Act also gives a municipality the right to manage its roads regards to safety and noise etc.,” said Mackay.

A look at the Alberta Safety Act explains rights of municipalities related to speed limits but those limits appear to be directed at municipalities where a highway is under its control. Highway 53 and Highway 2A may not be considered under Town of Ponoka controls.

Editor’s note: These comments have been edited for spelling and grammar.

Ponoka News’ web polls are a way to engage with readers and get a feel for what residents want. The polls do not represent an official petition or plebiscite. Check www.ponokanews.com/web-poll for more polls.

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