Letter to the editor 2, Feb. 8, 2018

What will it take?

Dear Editor,

Back in 2015 I wrote a letter regarding road safety on the streets of St-Lazare. Unfortunately, nothing has changed.

When I run or walk the streets of St-Lazare in my neighbourhood (Forest Hill), the same events occur almost without fail: drivers exceeding the speed limit, drivers looking at their crotches (must be a bad itch, right???), drivers blowing through stop signs. Adding to these completely avoidable behaviours are poorly cleared roads and bicycle paths. My son now walks up Chemin Ste-Elisabeth to the bus stop (on Ste-Elisabeth and Rue du Bordelais) from Rue de la Source. The bicycle/pedestrian path is now half as a wide as it should be due to poor snow clearing, forcing pedestrians closer to increasingly belligerent drivers (you know who you are!).

Can someone please explain to me how we can have a multi-million dollar fire hall with 4K TVs, a multi-million dollar city hall, Au Galop festivals (thank God that’s gone!), and who knows what other irresponsible and exorbitant spending by our city’s executive and yet we can’t have proper snow clearing, improved road safety measures and increased patrolling targeting speeders and distracted drivers in residential areas???

All you need to do to witness this behaviour is stand near the mailboxes on Rue de la Source near Ste-Elisabeth and watch the cars burn through the stop signs, often with drivers looking down or simply in their tiny little bubbles, concerned with only how many seconds they can save by not making even a semblance of a somewhat full stop. They don’t think for a moment that a child might jump out from behind a snowbank or – crazy thought that it is – a pedestrian might try to cross the street!

I’ve been living in this area for over 12 years now, and I’ve seen a police car at that intersection perhaps once or twice a year. I can also remember drivers going into the bicycle lane to avoid going over the speed bumps, before they extended the speed bumps into the bicycle lanes.

In my opinion, it’s time to put speed bumps right at the stop signs, thus forcing cars to slow down (maybe stop too?!) and perhaps thus defining the speed bumps as pedestrian crosswalks.

We’ve wasted money in St-Lazare for a lot less gain; isn’t the safety of our citizens worth a try?

Many other municipalities/cities have raised pedestrian crosswalks that increase safety and visibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

Shame on all you drivers who blow through stop signs and pay more attention to your devices than the road ahead of you. You should all be fined and lose your driver’s licences.

Rant over!

George Zoni

St-Lazare

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