Editor, The Record:
While I applaud the contribution of our MLA Randy Hawes at resolving the traffic problems on First Avenue, reducing the speed limit to 30 km/h is only half a solution.
North Railway Avenue is a part of the Mission downtown business area, therefore, should have a 30 km/h limit as well.
Driving North Railway Avenue from the Bellevue to the corner of Horne Street and Railway at 50 km/h takes an average of 46 seconds. Covering the same course at 30 km/h took 112 seconds. Life as we know it will not come to an end by adding 66 seconds.
Businesses on North Railway Avenue should be able to operate on equal footing. A reduction to 30 km/h would allow people the time to see the businesses that are there with more than a side glance and not stopping for fear of getting pushed along by a large truck barrelling down on them.
Regarding the two-way traffic proposal, we cannot go back to the future. Traffic volumes, new traffic lighting costs and many other adjustments make the existing one-way streets the most cost-effective arrangement. It is often difficult to move on First Avenue due to trucks unloading merchandise. Imagine the same situation with only one lane of traffic in each direction.
North Railway Avenue is offered as a sacrifice to two-way traffic, regardless of the impact on the existing and future businesses. If the city and province wants business growth on North Railway Avenue, speed limit reduction should be implemented.
Dropping limits on both First and North Railway will only require a change in signage, and for a time, additional indicators of the changes, as well as increased enforcement. If the budget allows, perhaps a traffic camera installation midway might slow things down too.