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Victoria urged to slow traffic near school

Nov 15 2012

Victoria will look at lowering the speed limit on Cook Street between Pandora and Bay after hearing from parents worried about the safety of children at George Jay Elementary School.

Problems of speeding in the area are endemic and it's only a matter of time before a child is hurt or killed, several parents have told council members.

Mayor Dean Fortin is asking staff to examine the effect of lowering the posted speed to 40 kilometres an hour from 50 km/h and look at other traffic-calming measures that may be helpful.

Kate Wallace, president of the school's parent advisory council, wants the speed limit reduced even further.

"A posted 40 will mean that drivers will still proceed at 50. It's inevitable," Wallace said.

"Thirty kilometres an hour is consistent with almost all other school zones in the city and would alleviate any confusion for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists."

Wallace said there are many arterial roads that have 30 km/h school zone speed limits.

"We really do expect the city to create, at minimum, a 30-kilometre speed zone - and that's just the start," she said.

"We would like blinking lights and other traffic-calming measures."

Fortin said he hopes city staff will recommend the best options.

"We recognize some people are influenced, obviously, by a reduction of the speed limit and enforcement, but you can also enhance that with traffic-calming measures. So I've asked staff to take a look," Fortin said.

The call for a lower speed limit was echoed by Denis Robichaud, a school crossing guard at George Jay Elementary for 18 years.

"I've seen cars running over the middle divider. I've seen a car running on the sidewalk," Robichaud said.

"It would be nice to really slow that down before one of the kids gets killed."

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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