Safety concerns should come first

Resident wants pedestrian improvements to 24th Avenue

I agree with Ms. Pifer’s concerns (Aug. 11 letter to the editor) over the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on 24th Avenue from 34th to 43rd Street.

Most of the zoning on 24th Avenue is row housing residential and multiple housing residential.

This lends to the area being densely populated, and because of its close proximity to downtown, many residents living here do not own or use a vehicle.

Yet for such a busy pedestrian and cyclist roadway, there are neither sidewalks, nor bike lanes, not even painted lines on the road.

Pedestrians, cyclists and those on scooters are forced to go around and in-between both parked and moving vehicles. As well, they are forced to step aside when bus No. 5 drives by every 35 minutes.

After having recognized this as a huge safety concern well over two years ago, I contacted the City of Vernon by way of a petition from several residents of 24th Avenue, followed by a letter that included photos of pedestrians walking within unsafe distances of moving traffic.

To shorten a very long story of going around and around with the city, I was advised that my letter of concern had been addressed at a transportation demand management committee meeting back in March 2012.

The report from this meeting stated, “24th Avenue is in the pedestrian master plan to have a sidewalk constructed, although this is contingent on funding.”

Contingent on funding?

It’s simple.

Instead of putting money towards, controversial “cosmetic projects” (to quote Coun. Bob Spiers) such as the Polson Greenway and the 30th Avenue revitalization, simply allocate the funds for it in the next budget.

Beautification projects should not have precedence over safety concerns.


Lee Brinkman