Some Edmonton councillors, residents worried certain playground speed zones may be excessive

By HUB SmartCoverage Team on November 23rd, 2016

How much caution is too much?

When it comes to the positioning of certain photo radar-enforced speed zones across the city, that's the question Edmontonians are trying to answer. Some residents and even city councillors have taken issue with the existence of a number of heavily enforced playground speed zones in rarely frequented spaces that they argue are complicating things for drivers and not actually preventing accidents.

"It just seemed wrong because there are no kids using these playgrounds," said Rossdale neighbourhood resident Daniel Onischuk, who lives right by a fenced-in soccer field that is almost always empty.

This trend has really been on the rise in Edmonton, where 178 of its standalone playground speed zones have been installed fairly recently. By the end of the year, there are expected to be 425 of them in total. But if certain councillors have their way, that number may start to drop.

"No one is arguing that safety isn't paramount here, but what a lot of people are arguing is that in some places they make sense and in some places they don't make sense at all," said Ward 11 Councillor Mike Nickel.

Ward 10 Councillor Michael Walters suggested that the council tighten its definition of playgrounds so that fields mostly used by adults and unpopular green spaces aren't over-protected.

"Otherwise it's inconsistent and confusing and unclear and then we tag on photo radar," he said. "I feel that's where we lose the public trust when it comes to photo radar, and it's not fair. Community safety and consistency are really important [....but] I think it's something that we have to look at and maybe scale back and focus on where we're actually going to keep kids safe."

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