Traffic concerns on 59 Street

I live on 59th Street north of 57th Avenue and am retired which gives me time to see the traffic situation in this area.

Dear Editor,

I live on 59th Street north of 57th Avenue and am retired which gives me time to see the traffic situation in this area.

The area west of 59 Street and north of 57 Avenue is a new development and contains an extremely high number of young families, their children and pets. The area also contains soccer fields, playground and park areas, the General Hospital, and part of the walking trail. All these people living in the area or using the area for their activities have to use 59 Street. Between 57 Avenue and 61 Avenue on this street, the speed limit is 30 km/h. During my 25 years of living in this area, the speed limit has almost never been obeyed. And in a lot of cases drivers have greatly exceeded the speed limit and I have yet to see a concentrated effort by the police to reduce the speeding in the area.

A couple of times a year, the town will put up the electronic speed sign and the cars will reduce their speed to the posted 30 km/h. Once the sign is removed the cars, within a day or so, revert back to their normal speed which usually exceeds 30 km/h and in some case greatly exceeds this limit. If there are no police present they have no reason to reduce their speed to the posted limit.

I have noticed over the years that this area is getting more young families, that the number of activities in the area has increased and that there is no positive 24- hour speed control. We definitely need some permanent method of controlling the speed, which would be in effect 24 hours a day. It seems that the police cannot control the speeding drivers 24 hours a day as they do not have the time, so therefore the idea of having speed humps to control speed seems to be a great idea and is very cost effective. This method of speed control is used in other areas in North America and has been highly effective in what it is supposed to do – control speed 24 hours a day.

Speed bumps are not speed humps. Speed bumps are about 6 inches wide and about 6 inches high and I find them aggravating when I have to cross one. Speed humps are totally different. They are raised parts of the street no more than 3 inches high and about 25 feet long with a gradual incline on one side and a gradual decline on the other. I have driven over them at the posted speed limit and have hardly noticed any effect. Drivers who exceed the speed limit will notice the effect of the hump. The faster they go the greater the effect.

There is an immediate urgency of having 24-hour speed control on 59 Street north of 57 Avenue, because of the number of children, young families, school children, cyclists, skateboarders, joggers and walkers, ambulances, soccer players from other parts of town together with their families. An enforced 30 km/h speed limit 24 hours a day would go along way to protect them from accidental harm.

There is also a problem with the street design. All families living to the west of 59 Street, where the majority in this area live, have to cross 59 street to use the only sidewalk which is on the east side of the street. Also street and sidewalk are not separated by a curb but are created as one unit and therefore there is no curb protection.

Town Council seems to me to be doing an effective job, so I am hoping they will look at speed control (Traffic Calming Measures) throughout the town and especially 59 Street and other areas that have the likelihood of serious accidents and death.

Speed hump design information can be found on the internet at the “Institute of Transportation Engineers site under Calming Measures”.

Eldred Stamp