Never ending story

SLOW DOWNIt’s another long weekend in Milton. Schools are all out and kids are running around their homes as we speak trying to find something to keep them busy. I know Anthony is ready to do something … and fast. That’s why I love the summer. He loves it too, like driving his bike to the park and playing basketball and soccer with his friends too. As a parent of a very energetic 7 year old boy, I worry about his safety, like other parents do, even more around this time of year.

It was just only a few short weeks ago when young lives were extinguished over a weekend because of speeding, careless driving and other road issues. Lets hope and pray that this Canada Day weekend wont have the same tragic results for other families.

I was taking a few moments to go to one of my favourite sites to look at some of the posts in its highly successful forum. In case you haven’t visited it, hundreds of people who live in Milton post there daily, comments about the town, and other general items. One of the pastimes on the forum is to raise issues like speeding in our neighbourhoods.

We all see it happen on a regular basis and some just don’t know what to do about it. I live off Yates Drive east of Thompson road and I experience the speeders almost daily. I know there are also a number of different intersections and streets in town that suffer from the same problem.

I’ve written here many times about the intersection of Yates Drive and March Crossing being the location of 3 collisions in less than a year and how many of the residents in the area asking for either a 4 way stop or something that will encourage people to slow down. Those requests have been answered by letters from the town staff saying traffic counts are too low and stop signs aren’t speed controls and the list goes on.

Reading one of the topics on the Hawthorne Villager recently, proves to me the problems haven’t been addressed or solved in the two years since this new council took office. I have talked with many people in our area and other areas of town and they have all complained about the inaction of our council representatives. The town seems to be more interested in telling us that they are doing an “outstanding job” than actually DOING an outstanding job.

Whats being done about this isn’t working. The more we seem to “ask” others to be more considerate, the more its being ignored. I mean, other peoples lives are more important and if they deem themselves to be above others, they are going to continue.

To the folks who fly up Yates (both sides) rushing from dropping their kids off to school feel that it will save them time to get where THEY are going, they’ll continue to drive at speeds topping 70km/h (yes unofficial spot checks prove this). Its all about the “ME” instead of the “US” that it should be.

And from personal experience talking to a lot of people during the election a couple of years ago, these same people I see driving down the streets at excessive speeds, a LOT of them told me road safety was one of their important issues. They know who they are…I wont name names.

The town refuses to consider lowering the speed limits in residential areas because it will frustrate drivers and make them speed more (HUH? Ive never got that logic) The town refuses to consider stop signs in high traffic intersections because unnecessary stop signs frustrate drivers and will lead to more abuse.

Lower the speed limits, raise the fines. Hit people in the pocketbook because it seems logic and reason doesnt work with many of the offenders. Ive noticed on Yates a slight improvement in the speed levels…there are always people who will ignore the rules and do what they want.

If you get tagged for a $200 fine for speeding on a residential street,will you think twice before flooring it to save a few seconds at a light? I know I would.

I would hope that logic and reason wins in these cases, as we all live in these homes, and we all either have kids or know someone who has kids and we want them to be safe…but in the same breath, they fly down streets at excessive speeds putting people at risk.

Last election I mentioned that town council has lost its focus on certain issues like growth, taxation and community safety. Its sad to say that nothing seems to have changed. We can email the councillors as much as we want…I know of several people on our street and others who have sent Brian and Rick an email or phone call only to have silence be their only answer.

What frustrates drivers is the actions of a few impacting everyone else. I don’t know about you but id rather piss off someone who’s driving 80 down my street if it helps those who obey the laws be less frustrated.

Happy Canada Day everyone! Safe travels!Canada Flag


  1. Ryan July 1, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Right on Mike. I live on the west side of Yates in the newer section and we are running into the same problem and once the school is fully up and running, the problems going to get worse. I say lower limits, increase the fines and if they complain it was their kids driving the car, too bad. Take it out of their allowance.

    Thanks for chatting with me earlier on today at the fairgrounds. All the best to you and your family!

    Ryan, it was great to meet you and your family as well. This years Canada Day celebrations were fantastic and its always good to catch up with you. When you want to change peoples habits its either the carrot or stick. The carrot doesnt seem to work as well, so maybe time to use the stick? – Mike

  2. greenjenny July 1, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    I sympathize. I live on Commercial Street, and I ran into the same brick wall with Town Council when they actually wanted to raise the speed limit by eliminating the 40km school zone by J.M. Denyes. It took a letter to the Champion, a petition and an appearance before council with photos and diagrams to get them to change their minds. And even then, our illustrious Mayor thought it was the wrong decision (this is the same guy who thinks that pedestrian crosswalks contribute to global warming).

    When researching the issue for my presentation, I found several successful strategies for reducing speeding. Lower speed limits help, but only marginally and only when enforced regularly. Stop signs can discourage people from using a street as a speedy bypass, but again it helps if they are enforced once in a while.

    Most effective, however, is either physically or visually narrowing the street. Bumpouts with spaces between for parking, trees closer to the curb, or even adding a bike lane can have a huge effect. Think about it – aren’t you inclined to go slower on narrower streets, regardless of the speed limit?

    Something to consider.

    Jennifer, you make some good points. Thanks for posting as well. Any help is useful to change the mindset of the Town. Where some people want lower speed limits, they seem to worry more about how it affects the speeders vs the people who obey the law. With Yates, its already a narrow street and with parking on one side, it gets even more narrow causing headaches with the traffic. Happy Canada Day – Mike

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