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Traffic lights at intersection would protect children’s safety

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  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 12:43 pm

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Dear Editor,

A dirty truck rumbles down the road, fiercely eyeing the enemy as it scavenges for the scarce and yet highly covetable parking spot. A lapse in judgment, character and intelligence forces it to illegally turn around in the middle of an icy intersection, nearly striking an innocent child, whose only crime was attempting to arrive to school on time.

Such a lovely scene, isnít it? Unfortunately, it is not a rare occurrence, but such is the life of a child/parent at Nose Creek Elementary. It would be easy to blame the mom or dad here, as it is they who are uncharacteristically speeding down an excruciatingly busy, narrow, snow-covered road, running stop signs and making u-turns despite the obvious ďno u-turnĒ signs, which keep watch from above.

However, I donít honestly think the parents are at fault here, driving indiscretions aside. Perhaps it is the Rocky View School Division, or is it the City of Airdrie? To be truthful, I donít know. Whoever planned to have an elementary school with a capacity of 300-plus in an emerging city clearly was not planning ahead. This school is literally busting at the gut, with about 700 students now lining the hallways. Twice the amount of student means twice the amount of parents, and twice the amount of buses now apprehending what little parking spots still reside.

The City of Airdrie obviously wasnít foreseeing this issue when they approved the giant neighbourhood of Bayside to be constructed, which continues to expand by the way, with only one tight road for which to access the school.

This road, it should be noted, is Bayside Blvd., which has the nasty infamy of being part of one of the worst intersections (Bayside Blvd. and Yankee Valley Blvd.) in Airdrie, in dire need of a traffic light as parents and Bayside residents alike are forced to frustratingly wait behind nearly a dozen school buses to retreat out of the borough. Unfortunately, despite desperate pleas to the City engineer in charge of approving such traffic lights, a growing online petition, Airdrie Wild Rose MP Blake Richards and Mayor Peter Brown, absolutely nothing is being done.

So as a taxpayer in Airdrie, a homeowner in Bayside and a parent of two children at Nose Creek Elementary, what am I to do? How much longer am I supposed to sit back and witness our young ones almost being rundown by vehicles, because they are forced to cross the street at crosswalks, which are now used as parking spots for school buses? Enough is enough. This is an issue which needs to be brought to resolution. No one has died yet, and for that we are all lucky, but will it take someone being struck before something is done?

The fact remains that this school is not going anywhere. And as of the very near future, neither are the 700 students who are educated there. And much to my dismay, the City of Airdrie probably doesnít have any enchanting solution in their back pocket. So we, as parents, need to buckle down. Please, stop speeding through the school zone. Please, stop turning around in the middle of the street, to save a minute or two. Please stop running stop signs.

You, as a citizen of this city, have the responsibility to use your mind and your voice to passionately and insistently force change within your own community. Be heard and do not give up.

Matthew McCann,

Airdrie


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