Safely Connecting for a Stronger Community

transportationAs the city grows, it is ever-more important to consider how we get around safely and effectively. With more residents brings more cars. With more cars, there are more accidents and more risk for pedestrians to be hurt or worse. Many of these pedestrians are our children walking to or from school or playing in nearby playgrounds.

It is important that as we design the transportation network we consider not just vehicle travel, but other modes of transportation that enable people without vehicles to get around or those with vehicles to leave them at home for local commutes.

A major component to these other transportation options is an affordable, efficient, and effective transit service. Today, Spruce Grove provides an excellent set of transit offerings, but there is some room for improvement. I have some ideas for improvement that I would bring forth on council:

  • Extended hours to include evenings and weekends
  • More stops within communities and close to key locations rather than just main arterial roads
  • Better “hub and spoke” design for commuter buses that reduce travel time around the city and instead run the Edmonton commuter bus directly from a park-and-ride area that is serviced by the commuter buses
  • Promote the use of local buses as an option for older children to commute to school to reduce traffic at schools and increase safety

Other modes of transportation include an enhanced, connected and safe bicycle network, as well as walking and running paths. Spruce Grove has an trail excellent system in place already, but again, there is room for improvement:

  • Ensure connectivity between communities for a contiguous network
  • Finish connectivity with Stony Plain
  • Bike racks at key locations such as the library, parks, city centre, and shopping areas
  • Better lighting for bike and walking paths to ensure safety in the morning and evenings; especially when daylight hours are shorter
  • Protective Services bike patrols through less-visible areas of the trail systems

Lastly, but probably most importantly is the need for enhanced traffic safety. This is especially true as it pertains to the safety of our children in school in playground zones. There are a number of initiatives that I would spearhead if I were elected:

  • Evaluate 40 km/h speed limits in residential zones as was recently implemented in Edmonton to see if it’s a fit for Spruce Grove
  • Controlled crosswalks around all of our schools to ensure safe crossing for children
  • Proper school and playground zone designations
  • Targeted use of traffic enforcement in high risk locations, such as school zones or high-collision locations

In addition to these ideas, I look forward to the citizen input from the Community Road Safety Advisory Committee providing their recommendations to council. Also, the city Strategic Plan and subsequent documents discuss several of these elements, but it is important to highlight the most critical ones for immediate action. This will ensure that the city provides better transportation options so that all residents are connected and safe.

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