It seems like most of the traffic speed signs are obsolete, ever since the town made a four lane highway from Third Street West and Colonization.
It is very seldom that vehicles limit their speed to 50 km as marked and most likely they go 70 km or greater. This makes it very hard for pedestrians in that area to cross the highway or to maintain travel on a sidewalk on their way to “Downtown.”
Most “West-enders” have to cross the highway at least twice to get downtown. If the Traffic Safety Committee had ever tried to walk the pedestrian route they would have experienced the inappropriateness and lack of safety in crossing the highway in this area.
All traffic from the east converges onto this route on their way west and all traffic from the west uses this route to go east. This makes for traffic in high volumes.
I was prompted to write this letter after reading last weeks article on the proposed sidewalk along Front Street, which is a beautiful and scenic place for a sidewalk in spring, summer and fall.
It seems that where Front Street will be getting a sidewalk for pleasure, the West End needs a sidewalk for safety.
I feel the Traffic Safety Committee is not giving any thought to our safety which is a priority that deserves immediate attention.
I observe people walking over the grass trail on the south of Third Street West and Colonization Road, rather than having to risk their lives getting to the side of the highway where there is a sidewalk.
In the winter, this trail will not be plowed creating more pedestrians trying to get across the highway.
The school board, in its wisdom, will be closing Alexander Mackenzie School, thus negating the school crossing there. The present sidewalk extends from McIrvine to the Alexander Mackenzie School. Surely it would be logical and in the interest of safety to replace and extend the sidewalk past the current intermittent sidewalk, continue around the corner along Central and make a pedestrian crossing on Central for access to downtown.
Prior to widening of the highway last year, the sidewalk did extend to cover past the cemetery. This sidewalk was removed and dumped on the bank of the Rainy River, causing a great deal of erosion. There is now a large drop off along the bank of the West End Park where children play and people walk. If someone falls over is the Safety Committee responsible?
Instead of moving the hedges further in towards the graves, which would have given more room for a sidewalk and would not be encroaching on the existing graves, they took the sidewalk away. Seems the Traffic Safety Committee is more concerned with safety of the dead than safety of the living.
I would also point out that tourists line up for hours along this route. It is not unusual for the off doors to open and passengers to get out and stretch their legs. They walk around the corner of Third Street West and Central and wait for their vehicles to “catch up.”
Would it not be nicer and safer to have them walking on sidewalk instead of “slipping on the makeshift footpath” that now exists.