Cheryl Dowler doesn’t need a speed reader board to tell her how fast traffic is going when vehicles pass her walking along Aberdeen Road in Coldstream. She estimates vehicles’ speed by how much her hair flies.
The Coldstream mom was expressing concern to Coldstream council Monday about her kids and other kids walking along Aberdeen Road to Coldstream Elementary now that a school bus route has been removed by the Vernon School District because of budget cuts.
Council has agreed to install additional signage and a crosswalk in the vicinity of Paisley Drive, as well as temporary concrete barriers at the new crosswalk.
While appreciative of council’s efforts, Dowler thinks more can be done.
“Parents are still going to drive their kids because they’re scared and it doesn’t take long to see why they’re scared, especially the southern portion (of Aberdeen Road),” said Dowler. “The road is full of potential danger and obstacles. It is busy. Every time I walk on the shoulder, it is guaranteed that a car will speed by.
“The vehicles are too close, too fast.”
Dowler told council that, according to the Motor Vehicle Act, Aberdeen Road is too far away from Coldstream Elementary for school zone signage and the preferred 30 km/hour speed limit.
“There will be kids who walk or ride their bikes because they want to, but we know there will be kids who walk because they have to. We are speaking for them,” said Dowler, who was joined at council by her Shamanski Drive neighbour, Nichoel Crawford.
“They’ll be out there when the roads are slippery, when the light is dim, when the snowbanks are thick, and with speeding bullets barely missing them by just a few feet.
“What we want is our kids off the shoulder, off the road. Let’s start with a pedestrian path along Aberdeen Road between Paisley and the (Coldstream) fire hall.”
Crawford called for council to consider a sidewalk from the fire hall to the new crosswalk.
Mayor Jim Garlick told the women their requests will be considered during the 2015 budget deliberations.
“Those conversations will happen on potential projects,” said Garlick.
Council also directed staff to bring forward options for curb mode installation and additional street lights during next year’s budget deliberations.