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Chabot’s street racing motion falls flat at Calgary committee

The brakes were pumped on Coun. Andre Chabot’s motion to address Calgary street racing, and it’s going to need more work under the hood before it revs ahead.

The matter was defeated at Tuesday’s Executive Committee meeting. While motions are generally there for technical review, councillors couldn’t resist sharing their thoughts on the matter.

The motion called for the mayor to write a letter to the Minister of Justice to reconsider amendments to traffic legislation. It also sought a review of potential permitted road closures or the use of other City of Calgary locations for sanctioned street racing.

Chabot said something needs to be done to address the issue of speed in residential areas.

“My objective here is not to fix the entire problem,” Chabot said.

“Do we have to wait until somebody gets injured before we come to the conclusion that residential speeding is an actual thing? No, I think we need to act now and make to make people feel safer in their community.”

Coun. Courtney Walcott questioned the connection to the 2011 Race City Speedway closure. The first line of the motion suggests the problem is tied to the track shutting down.

“I say this just because living in a variety of places, some of them actually near a lot of these streets, that street racing has always been there,” Walcott said.

“I’m not fully sure if those two are actually connected.”

Walcott said he’d like to see data before justifying moving ahead. He also said that Chabot might be burying the lede by embedding the traffic safety changes (photo radar).

Finding a spot to race

Transportation GM Doug Morgan also said it would take a significant review to determine if there was anywhere suited for sanctioned racing.

Morgan said that they have traffic engineers focused on the tiny details for traffic safety.

“We’re super sensitive to people operating vehicles outside those parameters,” Morgan said.

“I think we’re very concerned to make sure if we did pursue it, we would need to do it very carefully.”

Mayor Jyoti Gondek went back to the checklist. She mentioned that cost nor legal opinion was a part of the notice of motion.

She said they agreed with each other on the need to address speed in residential areas.

“I guess where the disconnect for me is, it’s a reach to say if we provide a sanctioned speedway that will make it better,” she said.

The item was defeated 3-5. The item will not be discussed at an upcoming council meeting, but it will appear as information.