Safety issue should be paramount

Resident wants safety improvements made to 25th Street in Vernon

I submit that the central justifying reason for creating a decrease in traffic flow on 25th Street is that of safety. I recently bought a house on 25th Street, and my wife and I did so with great anticipation.

We have three little girls, and they are just beginning to go to school.  Because they will be attending Beairsto school, we believed our home purchase to be strategically wise.

In a few years, we would be able to send them off to school by themselves as the walk was only three to four minutes total.

And in the mean time, we were excited to have a home near town, so my wife could walk with our kids into town.

The prospect of teaching our youngest to ride a bike on the street here was also something we relished.

Since we have moved into our house, it appears that many of the reasons why we made our purchase have been nullified by the traffic patterns on our street. There have been numerous events in the past month that have fueled our family’s safety concerns.

For example, the use of our street by school buses and tradespeople with their trucks and trailers has created a significant amount of volume.

I have watched as many large vehicles have come southbound on 25th Street. They have not been using the street to access homes in our neighbourhood. Rather, they have been bypassing 27th Street to access Pleasant Valley Road or another major street.

Regularly, I have had to shout and run to stop my children from being too near to the street when a large vehicle (followed by another) has barreled down our street.

Another example of the significant safety risk that my children face is by the volume and speed of regular traffic (i.e. not large vehicles) using our road as a bypass route.

Three weeks ago, one of my children was nearly hit by a rider on a sport bike as he and his companion on another bike were racing down our street. They did not turn right or left, but kept going down several blocks.

I can only surmise that racing down 25th Street was more expedient for them than remaining on 27th Street.

Several other examples could be mentioned to further support my point.

However, the issue of expediency (just mentioned) brings this issue to a loggerheads.

What is more important, expediency for the residents of Vernon at large or safety for the young families who live on this street?

The primary stakeholders in this issue are the residents of 25th Street and their children. While citizens who use the street may have a voice, I submit that the voice of those who live on 25th Street is weightier by far.

And the safety of our children trumps the convenience of others who do not have to live with a heightened sense of danger and constant anxiety when their children are outside playing. My wife and I join our voices with the majority of those on our street calling for the installation of the proposed traffic flow changes.

This is a safety issue first and foremost.


Jared Penner