Saturday, October 21, 2006

front page

School safety, closures will top new councillor agenda: Samson
Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News (Oct 20, 2006)

Two key issues that will face Dundas' new city councillor after the Nov. 13 municipal election are safety on Governor's Road and the role of community councils.


This week, outgoing councillor Art Samson suggested to the Dundas Star News that dealing with Governor's Road traffic and safety, doing a better job getting public input on two upcoming school closures and the ongoing Dundas Driving Park master plan are three key issues that will affect the community over the next few years.

Mr. Samson said he has started the ball rolling for a review of crossing guards near a new school planned for Governor's Road, an environmental assessment for a possible roundabout at Davidson Boulevard or Pirie Drive and a study for a possible school speed zone. But if any of those things actually succeed, it will have to happen during the next councillor's term.

And all four candidates say they've heard about it from residents.

Peggy Chapman believes badly planned housing development around Governor's Road is to blame.

And Davidson Boulevard as the only way out of a large neighbourhood causes traffic problems.

"If we're going to build, let's grow smart. I'm big on smart development," Ms. Chapman said. "Maybe there could be another artery or road out of there." [um, roads are the problem, not the solution here]

Ms. Chapman said local residents aren't getting much help from city hall, but she thinks bad development in the area can still be stopped.

"Let's not make mistakes if we don't have to. Let's build it smart," she said.

Keith Sharp said a pedestrian-controlled stoplight has been suggested for a Governor's Road crossing, but he thinks that would just cause more problems.

"There's no easy solution," Mr. Sharp said. "The traffic specialists need to look at it." [yes, and talk to the community about it so we don't get left out of the decision-making process]

Russ Powers said while he was on city council prior to his federal stint, he submitted a plan for improvements to Governor's Road.

"It's my intention to continue to press for that," Mr. Powers said. [Are we supposed to know his plans? I just sent an e-mail to his campaign asking to see what he is proposing ]

Julia Kollek said she asked city staff about building a covered pedestrian bridge that would carry students across Governor's Road and into the new elementary school.

She was told that would cost about $300,000, but Ms. Kollek thinks a cost-benefit analysis - comparing the bridge to the cost to bus hundreds of students for years - should be done before discounting the idea. [human nature - people won't use it, they'll find the shortest most direct route - slow traffic first with some proper engineering moves]

Ms. Kollek also suggested shuttle buses could be used to carry students from specific drop-off points, eliminating some parent's cars from the busy thoroughfare. [how about improved transit routing and bus passes for students?]


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