Councillor tells Windermere drivers to slow down: ‘Shouldn’t have to spend taxpayer money on speed bumps’

The Edmonton city councillor who represents the south areas of Windermere, Langdale and Keswick has heard hundreds of complaints from residents about drivers speeding through residential and school areas, and he’s reached the end of his rope.

“Parents taking kids to school are essentially getting their heels clipped by cars that are turning through those intersections in an impatient way,” Ward pihêsiwin Coun. Tim Cartmell said Wednesday.

“In the last week we’ve had a couple — at least one, if not two — children hit by cars.”

Read more: Councillor to propose fixed design standards to make Edmonton neighbourhood roads slower

On Tuesday, Cartmell posted a passionate message on Facebook, pleading with drivers to slow down and obey the speed limit.

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“I’m asking them to take a moment to think,” he said. “If you hit a kid that’s on your kid’s basketball team, you’re going to regret that.

“Enough is enough.”

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First day at new southwest Edmonton school prompts safety reminder

Cartmell said he doesn’t want to sound “parental” or “condescending” but said people driving through these neighbourhoods need to follow the rules for the good of everyone.

“People are significantly exceeding the speed limit and causing distress and harm in the neighbourhoods they’re now travelling through.”

He said he doesn’t want to use taxpayer dollars on traffic-calming measures, but he’s had enough.

Read more: Child taken to hospital after being hit by school bus in Ermineskin crosswalk

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“But if people can’t correct their own behaviours, then we have to make things more difficult for speeders,” Cartmell said. “It’s in the control of people.

“We’ve got a very difficult budget season ahead of us… I don’t want to spend money on rebuilding streets that are 10 years old or less simply because people can’t obey the laws.

“We cannot post a police officer to enforce those speed limits at every turn, at every intersection. The province does not allow photo radar on roads that have a speed limit less than 50 (km/h).”

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Still, the councillor is so concerned, he’s going to ask city administration to look at traffic-calming measures on Wright Drive and Washburn Drive. He’s asking administration to look at scramble crosswalks along Windermere Boulevard.

Cartmell said he’s also asked police to ramp up enforcement there immediately.

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“I should not have to spend taxpayer money to build speed bumps and narrow existing roads because too many people cannot obey the speed limit, or stop at a crosswalk, or run red lights when turning,” Cartmell wrote.

He said other possible traffic-calming measures are crosswalks or four-way stops.

“I don’t want to do that. It doesn’t create an efficient road way network, but I’m at the end of my string here. I cannot stand by and watch children be endangered because people can’t take a few extra seconds to make a safe turn or travel safety through a community.”

Read more: 7-year-old boy in serious condition after being hit by vehicle in south Edmonton

Neighbour Luanne Labrie, who often walks her dog in the area, said the traffic has become worse since the old Ellerslie Road was closed.

“People fly along this road. It’s 40 km/h but there are people going 80 km/h,” she said.

And, she says it gets even worse at night.

“Once the night falls and gets dark at night, people just run the stop sign… The funny thing is there’s a police station a block a way, but they never seem to monitor this road.”

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Labrie said it’s frustrating and scary, especially since there are a lot of families with young children in the area.

“We could use a light here, even if it’s just a crossing light. I know that’s not easy to do. We just got a light on 170 (Street) and Ellerslie (Road), and that took two or three years.

“Even just having a pedestrian light here so that you could walk across… I’ve been almost hit a couple times here,” Labrie said.

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