The volume and speed of traffic coming off the ring road onto 90 Avenue SW led the community to band together to raise safety concerns with city council.
Now, the city is looking at the suggestions made by the community such as new crosswalks, lowering the speed limit and better enforcement to make the area safer for residents and those visiting South Glenmore Park, the pumptrack, the splash pad or other amenities in the area.
“We noticed as citizens and residents of Oakridge that there wasn’t any speed mitigation or safety mitigations in place here … and we’re finding that people are just flying down this road when they come off the ring road,” Salima Dowhopoluk, a 13-year resident in the area, said.
City council approved a motion to start looking into safety mitigations for the road.
The ring road has brought a lot of benefits to southwest neighbourhoods. Residents say it has also caused a lot of concerns. Many worries are around traffic safety, mayoral candidate and Ward 11 Coun. Jeromy Farkas said.
While steps were planned to make the area safer “much” later this year, city council has made the area a priority for its traffic safety plan. That means some of the changes requested by the community will be implemented quicker.
“This has been an issue for a long time and I’m pleased to see our city hall take it as a priority,” Farkas said.
“But, it’s also important to remember this is not just a 90 Avenue issue. It’s going to be another issue for many other places around the city once the ring road opens completely.”
The 100km/hr speed limit on the ring road leads traffic downhill and around a tight corner to 90 Avenue SW, a posted 60km/hr residential area.
“This neighbourhood is full of seniors, children, families that use the park. There’s a dog park just down the way; this park is used all the time, people come outside of the community to use South Glenmore Park,” Dowhopoluk said.
“It’s pretty risky to have cars speeding and not slowing down when people are trying to cross.”
Since the ring road’s connection to the avenue, vehicle volume has increased about 30-40, according to Farkas.
“There’s a number of different factors at play that has had the community very legitimately concerned. We’ve had traffic collisions in this area, as well as other near misses in the past,” Farkas said.
“We’re looking for results, sooner or later … We can’t wait for something bad to happen. We need to act now so that we can avoid tragedy.
Farkas said the lessons learned on 90 Avenue can extend to other places like Fortress Drive to Fish Creek Boulevard. These other roadways that may be impacted when the full ring road opens.